Napoli chief calls for European Super League

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis says he wants to develop a new European competition featuring only the biggest teams from Europe’s top five leagues, and claims that some Premier League and Bundesliga clubs are interested in the idea.

De Laurentiis, 64, told L’Equipe that clubs from England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain could be making a lot more money from the Champions League by embracing his “revolution” for the continental game.

“I want to reduce the league to 16 teams and to create a large European Cup that would bring together the five biggest teams from the five best European leagues,” he said.

“One week would be devoted to the national championship, the other to the European championship with teams like Manchester United, Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern, Milan.

“It would be crazy, the end of the world! This competition could generate five billion euros – a revolution.”

“Everyone seems happy to earn 40 million euros per season in the Champions League. I’m not. I want to earn 150 million or even 200 million euros.

So long as it’s all about such noble principles, who could possibly object.

It’s a good time for De Laurentiis to propose such a league. When he took over at Napoli in 2004 they were languishing in the third tier of Italian football. Any suggestion then, that they be considered part of the European elite would have been drowned out by laughter.