Guardiola unhappy with threat to domestic leagues

London (AFP) –


Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday he is unhappy a proposed European Super League could put the future of domestic leagues and cups in danger.

A Times report said the 15 clubs mooted to be in the 20-team breakaway competition would be offered £310 million ($424 million) each to join and up to £213 million per season.

The Premier League's 'big six' including City are reported to be among the planned founder members, with a scheduled start in 2022-23.

But Guardiola, who has also managed in Spain and Germany, expressed fears about how any continental league might impact on domestic action.

"I have the feeling we cannot lose the local leagues, what it means for the FA Cup, the leagues," Guardiola said.

"What we should do is make every single league in Europe stronger than what it is, less teams, better championships, better League One, better League Two, better Premier League with less teams in every competition. Go to the quality over quantity.

"To make a super Premier League, you have to reduce the teams, but we cannot kill the lower divisions or the Premier League itself."

Football's world governing body FIFA and the six continental confederations have publicly rejected the breakaway competition.

Earlier reports in the UK said that negotiations were nearing conclusion for the closed "European Premier League", backed by $6 billion of financing from major banks.

Real Madrid are understood to be leading the Super League project, with Manchester United and AC Milan also said to be significantly involved in the talks.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said in December that the coronavirus pandemic had increased the need for the creation of an elite league. He said the pandemic had cost Real Madrid 106 million euros ($130 million) in lost income.

The latest reports come at a time when agreement on the format for the Champions League from 2024 onwards appears closer than ever.

A UEFA proposal for a 32 or 36-team league, where each team plays 10 matches is reported to be one of the proposals.