Report: Top clubs could break away
Europe's top clubs could break away from the world's governing bodies and form their own 'super league', according to a report. The Guardian claims that the European Club Association are increasingly concerned about FIFA's plans to expand the international calendar, and could form their own organisation in 2014. Clubs are currently bound by a 'memorandum of understanding' signed in 2008, compelling them to release players for international duty and participate in European club competitions. However, this agreement runs out in 2014, and they may leave the traditional structure of the game today. The Guardian quotes an unnamed board member of the European Club Association as saying: "The fact that Bayern Munich, who have always been close to the institutions, are being so vocal and loud about the situation is a clear sign we're very close to breaking point. "We have a memorandum of understanding with Uefa that expires in 2014. After that time we can no longer be forced to respect Fifa statutes or Uefa regulations. And we won't be obliged to compete in their competitions." The Guardian goes on to report: 'Although the ECA has a broad constituency, representing 197 European clubs, it is the interests of nine in particular that will drive this agenda. They are Real Madrid, Milan, Liverpool, Internazionale, Manchester United, Barcelona, Arsenal, Chelsea and Rummenigge's Bayern. 'When the Guardian contacted the four English clubs for their views on the matter, all declined to comment. However, a director at one of the clubs said: "[Financially] there is a lot of unfulfilled potential in football as it stands." Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, CEO of Bayern Munich and current chairman of the ECA, said on Tuesday: "I don't accept any longer that we [should be] guided by people who are not serious and clean. Now is the moment to intervene. Because knowing something is wrong is an obligation to change."
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