Arsene Wenger labels European Super League a ‘bad idea’

Arsene Wenger has hit out at the controversial European Super League proposals threatening to rip football apart – and urged the sport to ‘stay united’.

The Premier League’s ‘Big Six’, along with the largest clubs in Italy and Spain, announced their intention to take part in the new competition in a bombshell move which had triggered a wave of condemnation and dismay.

A number of high-profile figures working within the sport, ranging from former managers to current players, have since voiced their disgust. Now Wenger, the former Arsenal manager and now FIFA’s chief of global football development, has shared his own similarly withering opinion.

Wenger spoke to Jim White and Simon Jordan live on talkSPORT on Monday.

‘I would say that’s a bad idea,’ Wenger said. ‘Football has to stay united, it’s the most important thing.

‘It’s based on sporting merit and overall to respect the history that has been built from European football.’

Despite initially predicting the formation of a new tournament, similar in concept to the new Super League, back in 2009, Wenger believes the idea ‘will not go far’.

He added: ‘I don’t know what exactly is behind (it). There is a more dangerous idea behind it and it’s a big threat for the Premier League.

‘When I was still in charge it was a lot going on from other countries to diminish the dominance of the Premier League and a project like that would certainly accelerate that.’

Legendary coach Wenger, 71, was memorably in charge of Arsenal, who are one of the first 12 clubs to join the Super League, between 1996 and 2018.

His old rival Sir Alex Ferguson has also waded into the fierce debate to savage the competition.

‘Talk of a Super League is a move away from 70 years of European club football,’ the former Manchester United boss told Reuters.

‘Both as a player for a provincial team Dunfermline in the 60s and as a manager at Aberdeen winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup, for a small provincial club in Scotland it was like climbing Mount Everest.

‘Everton are spending £500million to build a new stadium with the ambition to play in Champions League.

‘Fans all over love the competition as it is. In my time at United, we played in four Champions League finals and they were always the most special of nights.’

The Super League has been tabled as a midweek competition, with the expectation that participating clubs would still be in action in their respective domestic leagues.

It is currently uncertain whether the ‘Big Six’ would be able to keep their Premier League status, however, with the threat that they may have to fully break away to take part in the Super League looming large.

The Premier League indicated in a letter sent out to top-flight clubs over the weekend that it would not sanction the proposed new tournament.

UEFA, meanwhile, have also vehemently condemned the Super League and warned the member clubs that severe action may be taken against them.

This could see them barred from all domestic and European competitions, and players may also be prevented from representing their countries.

AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid have also signed up to the tournament.

Daily Mail Online


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