Ex-Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s prediction that was made eleven years ago has resurfaced in the wake of an announcement surrounding the European Super League being formed as early as next season.
The Frenchman proclaimed in 2009 that a European Super League would be a reality within ten years – though the idea seems to have finally formed two years later than Wenger’s expected window – the prediction is both impressive and ominous in equal measure.
Wenger declared how places in the league must be determined via merit rather than who boasts the most wealth, though it appears that will not be the case for the potentially upcoming tournament – with the Premier League’s six biggest clubs the only English representation.
The three-time Premier League winner also claimed in 2009 how he felt the plans were already in place, suggesting the recent news has been a long-time coming.
“I see more a European league developing over time rather than one team going out of the country,” said Wenger. “The national leagues will survive but maybe in 10 years, you will have a European league.
“I’m not sure 100% that I’m right but I feel inside our game there are some voices behind the scenes coming up to do something about that, especially if the rules become too restrictive for these clubs.
“Personally, I believe only in sporting merit. So, if such a league is created, it has to be by transfers up and down, although that is practically very difficult to resolve and we do not want to kill the national leagues.
“Teams would have to play in both the European league in midweek and the national league at the weekend. It means all these teams have two teams.
“The way we are going financially is that even the money that will be coming in from the Champions League will not be enough for some clubs because they spend too much money.
“The income is basically owned by Uefa and they distribute the money to the clubs.”
Arsenal are one of the six English sides thought to be participating in the competition, a move that feels against the principles of their former boss, given his call for places to be awarded on merit – Arsenal currently languish in ninth in the Premier League.
Reaction to the idea has been that of frustration, anger and injustice from pundits and fans alike, with both the Premier League and UEFA releasing statements condemning the idea.
The Premier League statement read: “The Premier League condemns any proposal that attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit which are at the heart of the domestic and European football pyramid.
“Fans of any club in England and across Europe can currently dream that their team may climb to the top and play against the best. We believe that the concept of a European Super League would destroy this dream.
Do you want all the latest news from around Arsenal Football Club straight to your email inbox?
Of course you do.
By signing up for our Arsenal newsletter, you will receive a twice-daily email, focused on all the latest news from the Emirates Stadium.
And, not only that, but you will get exclusive content from our club writers Chris Wheatley and Kaya Kaynak before anyone else.
You won’t miss a thing when it comes to the Gunners.
How do you sign up?
It’s easy and only takes seconds.
Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article – or any article on the Arsenal section of football.london in fact – labelled ‘Get the biggest daily stories by email’ and click ‘Subscribe’.
Alternatively, you can click here and tick the Arsenal box to subscribe for our Gunners newsletter.
If you decide later that you no longer wish to receive the emails, simply follow the unsubscribe link in one of the newsletters – but we don’t think you’ll want to.
“The Premier League is proud to run a competitive and compelling football competition that has made it the most widely watched league in the world. Our success has enabled us to make an unrivalled financial contribution to the domestic football pyramid.
“A European Super League will undermine the appeal of the whole game, and have a deeply damaging impact on the immediate and future prospects of the Premier League and its member clubs, and all those in football who rely on our funding and solidarity to prosper.
“We will work with fans, The FA, EFL, PFA and LMA, as well as other stakeholders, at home and abroad, to defend the integrity and future prospects of English football in the best interests of the game.”