Manchester United and Liverpool are in talks with Europe's elite clubs to join a new FIFA-backed tournament that would reshape the sport's global soccer landscape according to a report by Sky News on Tuesday.
Citing unnamed "football industry" sources, Sky said more than 12 teams from Europe's top five leagues - in England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain - are in negotiations to become the founding members of the new tournament, dubbed the European Premier League, with a provisional start date as discussed as early as 2022.
The report added the financiers are looking to raise a $6 billion funding package to kickstart the new tournament and said that FIFA, football's world governing body, is working on a new format, which is expected to see 18 teams playing fixtures during regular European season, Sky said, adding that neither FIFA or UEFA had commented on the story. Reuters has approached both organisations for comment.
The top-placed teams in the league would then qualify for the knockout stages which will conclude the tournament.
Wall Street bank JP Morgan is in talks to provide $6 billion of debt financing to help launch the European Premier League, with the funds repayable from potential broadcast income generated by the tournament. The idea of a European super league has been regularly floated over the last 20 years, with UEFA coming out strongly against it.