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    'We could have a European league in 10 years'

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    Quiver
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    'We could have a European league in 10 years'

    Post by Quiver on Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:55 pm

    It took longer than expected but, eventually, it arrived.

    It's the question which is always asked when a Scottish team prepares
    to face an English team in European competition: should the SPL's Old
    Firm be allowed to cross the border and join the Premier League?

    It's a thorny issue and usually provokes a guarded response. But Arsène
    Wenger broke new ground when the question was put to him in Glasgow
    ahead of Arsenal's Champions League qualifier at Parkhead.

    The Frenchman cannot envisage Celtic and Rangers joining the English
    top flight but he can see the Scottish giants taking part in an
    European League somewhere down the line. Wenger would prefer to
    maintain the status quo but he believes the financial demands of
    football could usher in a new continental competition.

    "I see more a European league developing with the teams rather than one
    or two teams going out of the country," explained the Arsenal manager.
    "I believe the national leagues will survive but maybe in 10 years
    we’ll have a European League.

    "The way we are going now financially is that even the money coming in
    from the Champions League, for some clubs, they spend so much money
    that it would not be enough anymore. The income is basically owned, the
    whole organisation is Uefa and they distribute the money to the clubs.

    "I am not 100 per cent that I am right but I see and feel inside our
    game that there are some voices behind the scenes coming up to do
    something about that. Especially if the rules become too restrictive
    for the big clubs."

    If Wenger is proved right, how would a European League co-exist with
    the domestic competitions which are the life-blood of countries all
    across the continent? The Frenchman believes that the elite clubs would
    need two teams in order to cope with their fixture commitments.

    "It depends – if a European league is created is there a transfer from
    the national league to the European league or is it a franchise
    European league?" pondered Wenger. "This is the question that needs to
    be answered.

    "I personally believe only in sporting merit, so if one day a European
    League is created it has to be a transfer up and down. But that would
    be practically very difficult to resolve.

    "If you do not want to kill the national leagues, these teams would
    have to pay nationally and in Europe. That means the European league
    would take place midweek and the national league would continue over
    the weekend. That would mean these teams would have two teams
    basically."

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