Premier League clubs claim they were discussing format of the European competitions, not the idea of creating a rival.
Several of the Premier League’s leading clubs who held a meeting at London’s Dorchester Hotel on Tuesday, have denied they were discussing a breakaway European Super League.
Executives of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool were seen leaving a meeting with representatives of the American billionaire Stephen Ross, the creator of the pre-season International Champions Cup.
According to a report in the Sun, the executives were holding discussions over the possible formation of a European Super League. However, the clubs insist that they merely discussed the format of existing European competitions along with their participation in the International Champions Cup.
Arsenal confirmed that the meeting took place but were adamant that there was no talk of a breakaway league.
“We are strongly opposed to any breakaway,” the club said. “Not Arsenal, nor any clubs at the meeting, are seeking changes to the Premier League and European landscape and no conversations surrounding displacing the Premier League or starting a European Super League took place. Discussions were primarily around the ICC and formats of European competitions that would compliment the existing Premier League.”
It is understood that the other four clubs involved in the discussions will adopt a taking a similar line and are insistent that a breakaway was not on the agenda.
Those seen leaving the meeting with Ross were Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman at Old Trafford, the Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, City chief executive Ferran Soriano and Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre.
Ross, an American real estate developer who has an estimated wealth of more than £3bn, owns the Miami Dolphins.
Uefa said it had no plans to change the format of its European competitions but was constantly reviewing the situation.
A spokesman said: “We are constantly reviewing the formats of our competitions in consultations with stakeholders and also with the ECA (European Club Association). At the moment, there are no concrete proposals on the table. We have just gone into a new three-year cycle for Champions League and Europa League, so we cannot offer any further comment at this stage.”
There was no statement form the Premier League and equally, not a word from the oterh 15 clubs who were not invited to the meeting with Ross.