I see the Sun have a steer today that Celtic “will join forces” with clubs from Netherlands, Portugal and Belgium to oppose the suggestion from Barcelona and Bayern Munich that the likes of Manchester United should get automatic access to the Champions League, whether they qualify or not.
The consensus spreads beyond the countries mentioned above, Greece and Turkey also have large teams, unable to take advantage of lucrative domestic TV contracts.
As Barcelona’s Josep Bartomeu told the BBC, the FA Premier League presents a real threat to all clubs outside it. The suggestion is that TV and commercial values of the Champions League should be bolstered (which it would by having Manchester United next season instead of Galatasaray) to raise the income dividend for all participants.
This proposal would put more income onto Barcelona and Bayern’s top lines but it would not change the fundamental issue that the English and Welsh league generates vastly more income than any other domestic league. Raising income generated from Champions League football would not reduce the disparity in income from domestic football between England and Wales, and the rest.
What’s needed is a league to replace the existing domestic leagues, filled with big teams with large stadiums packed with supporters each week. There are enough big European clubs outside of England capable of fitting this criteria to fill two 20 team leagues.
Two divisions of 20, broadcast live across the world on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, each game played by huge clubs in front of >50,000 seater stadiums would dwarf the England and Wales league.
The earning potential is there to make it happen. What’s needed is someone to put money on the table.