European Premier League Plans Cause Further Debate

European Premier League Plans Cause Further Debate
You wait for one radical idea in football and then two come along almost at once, as no sooner has “Project Big Picture” been kicked into touch for at least the short-term, than plans for a European Premier League are announced. Plans that would produce another seismic shock within football’s global community and after one idea was eventually dampened only recently, it is time for some governing bodies to fan the flames once again.

Flames that would engulf the UEFA Champions League and see it usurped, which has unsurprisingly meant that their president Alexsander Ceferin has been incredibly cool on the announcement of such a plan.

A plan that differs from previous European Super League talks, as they’ve always been used as a form of threat or deterrent from Premier League clubs to get what they want, a bargaining tool for domestic purposes if you will.

However, these new European Premier League plans would dovetail domestic leagues in their current state and instead the midweek dates that are currently earmarked for UEFA competition, would be made available for the new competition instead.

Once again, Liverpool and Manchester United are at the crux of any early developments and with FIFA prepared to allow five English representatives to the party, it means one of the recognised “big six” will be set to miss out.

This means it is bad news for one of Tottenham, Manchester City, Chelsea or Arsenal as six into five simply will not go and whoever the lucky quintet turn out to be, they will be part of an 18-team competition played across two phases.

The first phase will be a standard home and away format of 34 fixtures and then there will be some of form of finals phase, for the highest finishers within the opening phase (number to still be discussed).

Which begs one rather pertinent question, how can a team such as Manchester United or Liverpool operate in both a 38 game Premier League and at least a 34 European Premier League within the same season?

Something would certainly have to give and when you consider that JP Morgan are reported to be ready to finance it to the tune of $6billion, the Premier League would soon become second in a list of priorities.

Especially as any founding member of the European Premier League would be safe from relegation for the first 20 years of operation and this would mean, not necessarily having to give your all on a domestic front.

Because if safety was assured, the usual clamour for the top four would be no more and this would mean the likes of Jurgen Klopp or Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could play fringe players at the weekend, while saving their big guns for midweek.

Of course, by carrying out such a squad management policy, the overall competitive nature of the Premier League that we currently love would then be diminished overnight, and this does not sit well with the powers that be.

Powers that will obviously look to maximise the value of all their global broadcasting deals and if all of a sudden, a shinier new toy enters the football landscape, do not be surprised if that maximum value goes elsewhere.

In a time when media companies are desperate for live content in a coronavirus dominated world, they will want to be a part of the biggest club competition ever announced and this is why domestic leagues are now on red alert.

Admittedly the condemnation from such important figures has been rather loud, so whether this is nothing more than sabre rattling remains to be seen. However, you get the feeling that eventually one of these ideas will be accepted by all and dramatic change, may only be just around the corner.

 

Written by Dan Tracey

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