Michael van Praag, president of the Dutch Football Association, has pledged to revive the issue of a north Atlantic league with UEFA.
The concept of a break-away league, in which clubs from Holland, Belgium, Portugal, Scotland and Scandinavia, was first mooted in the 1990s but never got off the ground. But Van Praag, who is a member of UEFA’s executive committee as well as head of the Dutch FA, believes that while the timing was flawed, the concept was worth further consideration.
He said: “There was no way we could push that through because UEFA at that time were conservative and full of fear. Now I am part of UEFA myself and, for this course, I can begin the lobby. It makes sense to start the lobbying now.”
The latest proposal appears to have already divided the Scottish Old Firm rivals with Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell last week branding the concept “Frankenstein”, while Rangers cheif Martin Bain welcomed Van Praag’s intervention.
Bain told the Daily Record: “I find what Michael van Praag has to say of great interest. I mentioned last week it was time for a wind of change in the European game and that there are many other like-minded clubs.
“UEFA themselves realise something has to be done to help the growth of clubs from smaller nations and, in turn, to protect the competitive nature of the Champions League.
“To hear someone of the stature of the president of the Dutch FA saying the time is right to begin serious discussions merely confirms what we ourselves believe. We welcome it and would hope these talks begin soon.”