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Clubs happy with Champions League

The European Club Association (ECA) has insisted it is happy with the UEFA Champions League format after Galatasaray chairman Unal Aysal called for it ti be replaced by a European Super League.

Aysal was talking at the Leaders in Football Conference in London, and stated that the time had come for a new league for Europe.

“I think it is the future of football,” he said. “It has to be created, not after 10 years, but as soon as possible.

“Football is a big industry, a growing industry, and a European super league will bring a lot of support and also energise football in general.

“I think it could be 20 big teams, for example, in Europe, with the last three, four or five teams can change every year.

“I think it can be operated in a proper way in order to make it effective and useful to European football and also to bring new horizons in football.”

Aysal insisted that a Super League would not necessarily mean a breakaway from UEFA, but admitted that this would be a price worth paying to get the new league up and running.

“The system has to be put in place, either by UEFA or by the clubs themselves. Then we will decide if a breakaway will be necessity or not,” he continued.

“It’s not yet totally elaborated and prepared and put on the paper. But it is a concept that is under discussion for a few years. It is not a new concept, but we favour it.

“The first 15-20 big clubs of Europe all agree with this – nobody will say no. Manchester United, Paris St Germain, Real Madrid.

“There may be one or two exceptions for local reasons, political reasons, and I will understand, but as the future for European clubs and the future of football, nobody can say no to this.

“Every reality starts with a dream. At the moment, it looks like a dream, a vision. I am sure, sooner or later, in a maximum of five years’ time, it will be a reality.

“Other clubs’ bosses, presidents and chairman are looking at this opportunity and talking to each other I think we will come together and look into each other’s eyes and follow it.”

However, the European Club Association issued a quick rebuttal to Aysal’s comments, insisting they are more than happy with the current Champions League set-up.

A statement read: “The European Club Association (ECA) has taken note of comments made today regarding the alleged creation of a European Super League in 2018.

“ECA underlines that such an idea was never discussed within the association and never figured on any meeting agenda. ECA is very happy with the current European club competitions.”

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the head of ECA, said: “Our European Super League is the UEFA Champions League!

“We are very happy with the current competitions and our extremely fruitful collaboration with UEFA.

“We will continue to work together with UEFA, and this beyond 2018.”

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