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Football Leaks claims Euro Super League talks held by clubs

2 November 2018 | Football

Top European clubs have held secret talks to create a European Super League, according to a report by German publication Der Spiegel.

The newspaper claims leaked documents show the breakaway league could be created in 2021 and see clubs involved leave their national leagues and football associations.

Der Spiegel also alleges separate documents show Manchester City and Paris St-Germain avoided financial fair play sanctions with the intervention of Fifa president Gianni Infantino.

Premier League champions City said they would not comment "on out of context materials purportedly hacked or stolen".

Der Spiegel says its source is a whistleblower they call John, who claims that neither he nor his associates are hackers.

"We have very good sources and a strong network that provides us with a lot of information," he told Der Spiegel.

What about the European Super League?

Der Spiegel claims Real Madrid has joined forces with AC Milan, Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, and Manchester United to form a group of seven sides who went behind the back of Uefa, European football's governing body, to discuss forming a European Super League.

As part of their plans, the clubs allegedly discussed "an option for leaving the national leagues and their football associations behind entirely".

Bayern Munich are supposed to have explored the legal complexities of the breakaway and one of the documents Der Spiegel says it has seen is a "binding term sheet" which 16 clubs would sign to form the Super League.

The new competition, it is claimed, would involve 11 of Europe's biggest clubs, known as the "founders", along with five "initial guests".

The so-called founders, who would include the seven clubs named above along with Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, and Paris St-Germain, would not face relegation and would be guaranteed membership for 20 years.

Der Spiegel reports that the five "initial guests," according to the document, would be Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan, Marseille and Roma.

A Bayern Munich statement said they were "unaware of recent plans for a so-called Super League" and had not "taken part in negotiations relating to such plans".

The club's chairman added: "FC Bayern Munich stands by its membership of the Bundesliga and, as long as I am chairman of the board of FC Bayern, also by the club competitions organized jointly by Uefa and the ECA (European Club Association)."

United declined to comment, while Arsenal, AC Milan, Juventus, and Real Madrid have been contacted for their response by BBC Sport.

What are the FFP claims involving Infantino?

Manchester City are owned by Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan's Abu Dhabi United Group, while PSG are owned by Qatar Sports Investment.

According to Der Spiegel's report, they overvalued sponsorship deals to help meet FFP rules and, when facing sanctions over the matter, the allegations in the documents state Infantino helped arrange more lenient punishments for them in 2014.

At the time, Fifa president Infantino was in his previous role as Uefa general secretary and City and PSG were both fined £49m, £32m of which was suspended.

Following the latest claims, City's statement added: "The attempt to damage the club's reputation is organized and clear."

A PSG statement said it "has always acted in full compliance with the laws and regulations enacted by sports institutions" and it "denies the allegations".

The club added: "Since the introduction of Financial Fair Play, Paris St-Germain have been one of the most audited and scrutinized clubs in history."

Uefa's response detailed the aims of FFP and added that the system "is a comparatively recent system of regulation" and with "the early cases" took "Uefa and the clubs into unchartered territory".

It said: "Uefa is confident that any apparent inconsistencies that may seem evident to some, have been eliminated as the system has developed and become more familiar to all sides."

Infantino became president of Fifa, world football's governing body, in 2016.

"All decisions on Uefa Financial Fair Play cases are made by the Uefa Club Financial Control Body (CFCB)," said a Fifa statement. "It is an independent body.

"The Uefa administration, which of course includes the general secretary, can assist the CFCB depending on the specific case.

"This may include discussions, meetings, assistance to help find solutions, and other interactions to assist the CFCB in its work. Nonetheless, the CFCB is entirely responsible for their own decisions."

In an interview last week, Infantino spoke in general terms when he said: "My job entails having discussions, having conversations, exchanging documents, drafts, ideas, whatever, on many, many, many, many, topics.

"Otherwise you don't go anywhere. I mean, if I just have to stay in my room and not speak to anyone and cannot do anything, how can I do my job properly?

"So if then this is being portrayed as something bad, I think there's not much I can do more than my job in an honest way, in a professional way and trying to defend the interests of football."

Where did the leaked documents come from?

Der Spiegel says the source of the documents they have obtained is a whistleblower called John, which is not his real name, who founded Football Leaks.

Up to 70 million documents have been provided by Football Leaks and more than 3.4 terabytes of information.

Der Spiegel has shared the information with other media outlets in the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) consortium, which includes Reuters news agency, the Sunday Times and Spain's El Mundo.

Together, about 80 journalists from 15 media outlets looked at the information provided.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/46078651

 

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Finally we will get to see United and Real get relegated.

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Just a matter of time. Hope it happens, sooner the better.

The king of Europe, Real Madrid would win this every year.

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It's inevitable. I'm sure we will see this sometime in my life.

Luckily I don't follow too much European football, but I think this is OK on the condition that it doesn't kill domestic football. Replace the UCL it with it and maybe it could work without ruining football tradition.

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This will of course destroy UEFA's Champions League completely for obvious reasons that are self evident and also belittle domestic league titles even more so than the Champions League itself has done in recent times as the possibilities of massive financial gain would put emphasis from all sectors involved in football even more toward those elite clubs.

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43 minutes ago, Azeem said:

Finally we will get to see United and Real get relegated.

Exactly. The super league is the dumbest idea going for fans of the clubs involved. It means many who win every week and know nothing other than that will wake up one day losing every week. All so a few owners can pretty much overnight see their £1bn asset become worth £2bn. 

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2 hours ago, Harvsky said:

It's really quite tiring how corrupt these organisations are. 

It's not going to stop unless almost everyone will cancel their BTS/NBCSN/SKY subscruption and the broadcasters won't pay for FIFA world cups anymore.

In other words it's never going to stop.

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Sadly this probably will happen at some point, I have confidence that the true hardcore Liverpool and Manchester United fans won't accept, probably Manchester City too. Arsenal and Chelsea fans are such ponces these days that they'll lap it up.

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7 hours ago, The Rebel CRS said:

Are you joking? They can barely compete for the league in their country, nevermind a European super league.

Errrr they've won the champions league THREE times in a row. 

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If someone and/or some global company decides to offer a financial package that dwarves the financial remuneration on offer for taking part in, and for winning, the Champions League and domestic football, clubs will lap this up and be on board with a new competition. 

I could envisage a continental competition of some form happening but there’s a lot of questions about its structure and it’s format and how “new” teams will, if possible, be allowed to take part. 

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16 hours ago, Marc said:

Errrr they've won the champions league THREE times in a row. 

Without having played Barcelona even once during those wins, a team who annihilate them in the league nearly every season.

A super league would require having to play everyone twice and would be a league format rather than knock out tournament.

 

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13 hours ago, Smiley Culture said:

If someone and/or some global company decides to offer a financial package that dwarves the financial remuneration on offer for taking part in, and for winning, the Champions League and domestic football, clubs will lap this up and be on board with a new competition. 

I could envisage a continental competition of some form happening but there’s a lot of questions about its structure and it’s format and how “new” teams will, if possible, be allowed to take part. 

How about just sticking by the name of the competition, the CHAMPIONS league? The Champions go straight in and at a push the second best of the European leagues qualify for it. Split into 2 leagues, with the top 2 qualifying for the semi finals and then the final. Everyone plays each other twice and then you have a proper Champions league, no competition should have a club qualifying on name only, AC Milan are dross at the moment. Run it alongside the domestic seasons as it already currently does.

 

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The main scandal isn't even the European Super League here (not right now anyway) and more the perversion of the rules where certain clubs have been permitted to create something out of nothing by breaking every permissible method.

But on the Euro Super League issue, I think the elite clubs want to break away from UEFA with this competition and control the whole competition in every way.  That is obviously exclusive instead of inclusive which would hurt football massively.

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This 'Super League' idea is a terrible idea for the 'top' clubs in the major leagues. Can't imagine their sponsors and merchandise sales would be the same after a few bottom half finishes.

Any 'Super League' is a much better idea for areas out with these nations. The smaller nations are blocked out the Champions League even more now and it won't take much longer for them to look at replacing this revenue with other ideas.

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1 hour ago, ScoRoss said:

This 'Super League' idea is a terrible idea for the 'top' clubs in the major leagues. Can't imagine their sponsors and merchandise sales would be the same after a few bottom half finishes.

Any 'Super League' is a much better idea for areas out with these nations. The smaller nations are blocked out the Champions League even more now and it won't take much longer for them to look at replacing this revenue with other ideas.

The league would obviously be exclusive by the sounds of it with very little scope for anyone else joining.  That actually makes it a marketing dream because you don't have to go with individual clubs and all the complexities that involves.  It would be universal sponsorship because of the compeititon's elite status and that in itself would generate more sponsorship because of the competition (again) and shared out between the elite without really caring for those finishing further down because they're all part of the spectacle.

The marketing and commercial potential is immense with very few limits.

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40 minutes ago, SirBalon said:

The league would obviously be exclusive by the sounds of it with very little scope for anyone else joining.  That actually makes it a marketing dream because you don't have to go with individual clubs and all the complexities that involves.  It would be universal sponsorship because of the compeititon's elite status and that in itself would generate more sponsorship because of the competition (again) and shared out between the elite without really caring for those finishing further down because they're all part of the spectacle.

The marketing and commercial potential is immense with very few limits.

But individual deals that the clubs have would be less appealing. Man United having an official Asian airline or an official crisp in Africa, then suddenly they are near the bottom of the table whilst the glory hunters that lach onto them are now fans of who ever is top. These sponsors aren't going to hang around.

That's why it seems the leaders of this are the 'new money' clubs. Clubs that are still trying to build their fan base.

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Just now, ScoRoss said:

But individual deals that the clubs have would be less appealing. Man United having an official Asian airline or an official crisp in Africa, then suddenly they are near the bottom of the table whilst the glory hunters that lach onto them are now fans of who ever is top. These sponsors aren't going to hang around.

That's why it seems the leaders of this are the 'new money' clubs. Clubs that are still trying to build their fan base.

Everyone or most people here know the field in which I work in and I was told some months ago by someone that is quite big in this field that in the not too distant future we're no longer going to see so much shirt sponsorship in the Way we've been used to for decades.  We could not too far away down the line see various sponsors throughout a season on a shirt and it's been seen before for example about 10 years back with Atlético Madrid when they were sponsoring the latest movie being released on the screen (this as an example).  There are variables on how to do this so not to upset shirt sales by the way!

What I'm saying is that we're entering a new era of how money comes into football and future generations will see the physical side to it on club sports garment as very old school.

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11 hours ago, SirBalon said:

Everyone or most people here know the field in which I work in and I was told some months ago by someone that is quite big in this field that in the not too distant future we're no longer going to see so much shirt sponsorship in the Way we've been used to for decades.  We could not too far away down the line see various sponsors throughout a season on a shirt and it's been seen before for example about 10 years back with Atlético Madrid when they were sponsoring the latest movie being released on the screen (this as an example).  There are variables on how to do this so not to upset shirt sales by the way!

What I'm saying is that we're entering a new era of how money comes into football and future generations will see the physical side to it on club sports garment as very old school.

I didn't mention shirt sponsorship.

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6 minutes ago, ScoRoss said:

I didn't mention shirt sponsorship.

I know you didn't, but I went down that route as an example because it's always been the main sponsorship associated with a club.  Since the advent of sponsorships (advertising) at football clubs, the shirt sponsorship has been so powerful that there was even a time when that brand name on a shirt became something attached to the actual club and the club shirt itself.  For example for me growing up JVC was so strong that it felt like the club and the brand name was part of the same thing.

The Champions League is these days the Elysium of European football clubs... So much so that mere participation is in most quarters of the higher echelons of football enough to carry a tenure through at all levels from board room to coaching staff (including the head coach himself)... Obviously, that for most clubs as there are the very few (the elite) that not winning it or getting into the last four is total failure.

I'm pretty sure you know why I've gone down the Champions League route... Money! So much money that it sorts out finances for the year for practically every club right at the top. Not just that!  Mere participation brings in prestige and with this the brand names coming knocking at YOUR door and not the other way around.  Marketing in football is extremely diverse these days and brand names associate themselves on varying levels and differing layers.

It's dominance in domestic football alone which is a dying shop window for those that have money in their hand and reaching out to put it in your pocket.  That's the conundrum these days for football clubs!  It's the reason Manchester City are so obsessed with the Champions League because Prime Time for selling something (because Man City and PSG are actually selling something which isn't even football but that's another debate that funnily enough DOES belong on this thread but not the one we two are having) belongs where I as a brand name can sell the same product at a higher price and make more profit... e.g... Buying a pair of Adidas Hamburg at JD Sports doesn't cost the same as buying the very same product at Harrods... There are people with a lot of money, the people with a lot of money have power and association with power brings you in a higher premium for the same product and at the same time opening doors for a different layer of financing.

I know marketing mate!  I know how that world works and a European Super League which is by invitation a lone but leaving a very small door which makes it look like its for everyone (every club) brings us to elitism in football and elitism in any area of life is about money, power and control.

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You've completely missed my point. Not of your posts have even come close to addressing what I wrote.

Domestic football is dying? Hilarious. When your world doesn't exist outside the 'elite' clubs, you cannot make sweeping statements like that.

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16 minutes ago, ScoRoss said:

You've completely missed my point. Not of your posts have even come close to addressing what I wrote.

Domestic football is dying? Hilarious. When your world doesn't exist outside the 'elite' clubs, you cannot make sweeping statements like that.

It exists for you but not for the market because of those that pretend to play in it.  It's not a sweeping statement, it's a fact!

You support Aberdeen and Aberdeen aren't in anyone's plans at that level but you still support Aberdeen.  But they will capture your imagination by making sure you are interested in something which in theory shouldn't interest you as an Aberdeen Football Club fan.

If you don't get it that's fine mate.  The crux of it all is about setting an illusion of worth for those that buy by those that sell by associating themselves with the elite.

It means very little in the playground of the elite who is right at the top and who plays around the middle or lingers at the bottom of the 1%.  

They have accomplished their goal all the same and your children's allegiance to Aberdeen with your effort will be just that I'm afraid.  Their interest compared to your father or your grandfather's will be on a whole different scale by making them interested in something aside from their faithful and undivided following of their local club... All that if they do actually support their local club.

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4 hours ago, SirBalon said:

It exists for you but not for the market because of those that pretend to play in it.  It's not a sweeping statement, it's a fact!

You support Aberdeen and Aberdeen aren't in anyone's plans at that level but you still support Aberdeen.  But they will capture your imagination by making sure you are interested in something which in theory shouldn't interest you as an Aberdeen Football Club fan.

If you don't get it that's fine mate.  The crux of it all is about setting an illusion of worth for those that buy by those that sell by associating themselves with the elite.

It means very little in the playground of the elite who is right at the top and who plays around the middle or lingers at the bottom of the 1%.  

They have accomplished their goal all the same and your children's allegiance to Aberdeen with your effort will be just that I'm afraid.  Their interest compared to your father or your grandfather's will be on a whole different scale by making them interested in something aside from their faithful and undivided following of their local club... All that if they do actually support their local club.

The Champions League literally just changed because of the dominant financial success of the EPL. How is it dying?

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17 minutes ago, ScoRoss said:

The Champions League literally just changed because of the dominant financial success of the EPL. How is it dying?

How is what dying? The status of winning a league title?

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European Super League would damage English football - UK government

 

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A breakaway European Super League would harm the culture of English football, says a senior UK government source.

German publication Der Spiegel has alleged top European clubs held secret talks to create a such a league in 2021.

The newspaper says leaked documents reveal clubs discussed leaving their national leagues and football associations.

The UK government would oppose any such European Super League.

According to the source, the government was unaware of any talks between the continent's top clubs until Der Spiegel's claims emerged.

It is also thought the Premier League was not aware of any discussions.

However, it would not be possible to prevent the clubs proceeding with such a plan, according to the source, who believes football fans would oppose the move.

Football Supporters' Federation chair Malcolm Clarke said: "Yet again there is a far-reaching proposal being drawn up by big clubs whose primary interest is making as much money as possible without any consultation with fans at club, national or European level.

"Without fans, those clubs are nothing.

"We challenge the five English clubs reported to be involved to properly consult their own supporters and the FSF. We think those fans will reject the idea but there is only one way to find out - ask them."

Der Spiegel listed Real Madrid, AC Milan, Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Manchester United as the seven clubs pushing the idea forward but suggested that others, including, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool would enjoy protected status and not face relegation.

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have denied the allegations while Manchester United declined to comment.

BBC Sport has contacted the other five 'founder' clubs for a response.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/46097389

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As I said... It’s exclusive NOT inclusive and only the elite would benefit while football being fractured and partitioned forever with national league meaning not all that much anymore. 

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On 04/11/2018 at 13:26, The Rebel CRS said:

Without having played Barcelona even once during those wins, a team who annihilate them in the league nearly every season.

A super league would require having to play everyone twice and would be a league format rather than knock out tournament.

 

HAhaha it's not Real's fault that Barca lost to muck like Roma along the way. Barca were always knocked out before they could play them. 

Kings.

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As for the Super League, ignoring the fact that Spurs who cant organise their own stadium have been invited which is hilarious, if plans materialise for a super league then the only stance football fans can really take is a boycott. What makes football special is the contribution the fans make. Look how odd the Croatia England felt and how weird it was when Dortmund fans went silent.

I imagine the likes of Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern will push for it, but for the Premier League Clubs there's less of a push at the moment as they're making plenty of money in contrast to the rest of Europe. What I think the top six may do is use this as a bargaining tool to get what they want in the future. You can tell they're not happy about how the tv money is proportionally spread, and they could see this as their way to get a much bigger slice of the pie to avoid another Leicester.

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On 04/11/2018 at 19:51, ScoRoss said:

But individual deals that the clubs have would be less appealing. Man United having an official Asian airline or an official crisp in Africa, then suddenly they are near the bottom of the table whilst the glory hunters that lach onto them are now fans of who ever is top. These sponsors aren't going to hang around.

That's why it seems the leaders of this are the 'new money' clubs. Clubs that are still trying to build their fan base.

I think regardless of where teams finish in this proposed “Super League”, global organisations will be falling over themselves to have their name involved somewhere given the amount of eyes the world over that would be fixated on Manchester City v PSG, for example. 

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European Super League: Arsenal 'never want' to leave Premier League

16 November 2018 | Arsenal

 

Arsenal want to be part of any future talks about a European Super League but do not want to "damage" the Premier League by walking away, says managing director Vinai Venkatesham.

German publication Der Spiegel claimed earlier this month that top European clubs had held secret discussions about a potential breakaway league.

"We have to be in the conversations. It doesn't necessarily mean we support them," said Venkatesham, who was appointed after former chief executive Ivan Gazidis left for AC Milan.

"Arsenal aren't, or never have been, interested in playing in any competition that weakens the Premier League. The Premier League is the world's leading league in the leading sport - we don't want to do anything to damage it.

"When people talk about the European Super League, that covers a really big spectrum. People jump to one end of the spectrum and think this is what we are talking about - but actually often it's just a slight evolution from where we are today.

"I see these articles that Arsenal want to break away. We never want to do any of that. But we also have to recognise we have to be in these conversations or we wouldn't be responsible."

Arsenal restructured their senior management after Gazidis' departure, with former head of football relations Raul Sanllehi becoming head of football as Venkatesham moved from chief commercial officer to managing director.

While at Barcelona, Sanllehi was part of a working group which looked into a European Super League, but the Spaniard says any such revamp will not happen in the short term after a renegotiation of the terms of the Champions League agreement with Uefa.

"As we are responsible for top European clubs, the ECA [European Club Association] had to look at all the options for the future," Sanllehi said.

"One of them, of course, could have been the possibility of a European Super League. It was a conversation we didn't hide from anybody, not even from the ECA smaller clubs.

"We looked into that in two ways: a way of exploring the real possibility and also how it would help us to negotiate with Uefa under the new terms because every cycle we will negotiate the memorandum of understanding.

"At the end of the day, the outcome was the best possible because we got into a new deal with Uefa within the system that protected the domestic leagues."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/46242455

 

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