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Plans for a breakaway European Super League, involving top clubs such as Real Madrid and Manchester United, are back on the agenda, German magazine Der Spiegel and European Investigative Collaborations, a network of international media, reported on Friday citing leaked documents. Meanwhile, according to that report, UEFA helped Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City get around their own Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.
The magazine reported that talks between some of Europe’s leading clubs on a breakaway league were at an advanced stage before a compromise deal in 2016 with the continent’s governing soccer body UEFA over its elite Champions League competition.
But Spiegel said a fresh plan had recently been drafted by Spanish company Key Capital Partners for Real Madrid which foresees 11 top European clubs creating a Super League in 2021 when the agreement on the Champions League format and revenue sharing ends.
Key Capital Partners did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while European champions Real Madrid declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.
The 11 ‘founders’ could not be relegated from the Super League, which would have five ‘guest teams’ to make up a 16-team competition, replacing the current 32-team Champions League, the report stated.
The founding clubs – who would not face relegation for 20 years – are Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Juventus, Chelsea, Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, Liverpool, AC Milan and Bayern Munich, the report said.
The five “initial guests,” according to the document, are Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Olympique de Marseille, Inter Milan and AS Roma.
Meanwhile, another leak in that report stated that UEFA helped PSG and Man City get around their own Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules. According to the investigation of “more than 70m documents” analysed “over eight months by 80 journalists” from members of European Investigative Collaborations (EIC), Uefa “knowingly helped the clubs to cover up their own irregularities for ‘political reasons'” under the leadership of Michel Platini and Gianni Infantino.

Both clubs, owned and bankrolled by wealth from Qatar and Abu Dhabi respectively, have avoided the most severe FFP punishment of being excluded from the Uefa Champions League.
Both clubs, owned and bankrolled by wealth from Qatar and Abu Dhabi respectively, have avoided the most severe FFP punishment of being excluded from the Uefa Champions League.

Football Leaks claims that between them Qatar and Abu Dhabi have injected some 4.5b euros ($5.1b) over the last seven years to increase the budgets of the clubs they own.
Of that figure, 2.7b euros has been invested in City via their Abu-Dhabi owners and from allegedly “overestimated” sponsorship deals. Football Leaks also points the finger at PSG’s five-year agreement with the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), valued at 1.075 billion euros, or 215m euros a year.
That is despite the investigation claiming that “two independent auditors assigned by UEFA valued the contract at 123,000 euros per year for one, and 2.8m euros a year for the other”.
UEFA rules say clubs cannot spend more than they earn in any given season and deficits must fall within a 30 million-euro limit over three seasons.

Sports Desk