New European superleague under discussion
By Mike Collett
LONDON (Reuters) - Plans for a European superleague comprising the continent's top 20 clubs which would replace the Champions League within five years are being actively discussed, the president of Galatasaray said on Thursday.
Unal Aysal, one of Turkey's most successful businessmen who became Galatasaray president two years ago, was speaking at the Leaders in Football industry conference.
His comments were confirmed by Andrea Agnelli, the president of Juventus, who told delegates that an academic discussion about the future of European club soccer had started among top clubs.
While Agnelli was more considered in his responses, saying that the current format needed to be looked at and that the Europa League especially required revitalisation, Aysal was far more expansive.
But Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the chairman of the European Clubs Association, which has a five-year agreement with European soccer's governing body UEFA ensuring the future of the Champions League, dismissed the claims and said no such plan was on the agenda.
Aysal, though, did not mince his words when he spoke to reporters after appearing before delegates at the Conference.
"Changing things brings new energy and synergy to the system," he said. Continued...