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CELTIC MONITOR EURO LEAGUE SHAKE-UP PLANS

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CELTIC will be monitoring developments with European football on the brink of a major shake-up.

The top divisions in Holland and Belgium have opened talks on a potential merger which could pave the way for barrier-breaking cross-border changes.

Clubs from the Dutch Eredivise and the Belgian Jupiter leagues commissioned a Deloitte study into the financial impact of creating a unified division.

The consulting firm calculated that such a league could generate in the region of €400million (£362.126m) in television revenue per season, with the individual leagues currently raising around €80million (£72.416million) each from broadcasting deals.

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Ajax, AZ Alkmaar, Utrecht, Feyenoord, PSV Eindhoven and Vitesse from the Dutch top flight and Belgium’s Gent, Club Brugge, Genk, Anderlecht and Standard Liege commissioned the study.

The Parkhead side will be interested at the way proposals progress following previous plans for an Atlantic League to compete with some of the top sides in Europe.

In the early 2000s, executives from PSV Eindhoven put together an outline for clubs from Holland, Scotland, Belgium, Portugal and Scandinavian countries to form their own super league.

The intention was to provide a way for those leagues to compete with the English Premier Division, Italy’s Serie A, Spain’s La Liga and the German Bundesliga.

In 2002, a proposal was again put forward, this time without the Scandinavian countries, with places for up to five Scottish clubs.

Plans for an Atlantic League were again mooted six years later and also in 2016, so the latest developments will once again by keenly observed by chief executive Peter Lawwell and the Parkhead hierarchy.

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Club Brugge supremo Bart Verhaeghe, speaking to respected football journal Kicker, said: “We cannot ignore the new reality.

“Sooner or later, there will be a European Super League with games between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid on Sundays.”

However, plans have not yet been presented to UEFA, according to a report in the Daily Record. It will be more than interesting to see how European’s ruling body views such a radical change.

European Club Association president Andrea Agnelli, who is also Juventus president, has repeatedly hinted at a desire for a cross-border competition featuring Europe’s elite clubs, with promotion and relegation rather than qualification via domestic leagues.

English football is in financial turmoil due to the coronavirus and Championship side Wigan have already gone into administration.

 
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