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The Frenchman believes plans are already in progress for the formation of a breakaway competition.

Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, has suggested that a European 'super league' could be in action within the next ten years, as the continent's biggest clubs look to maximize their income to match their spending.

"I see more a European league developing over time rather than one team going out of the country. The national leagues will survive but maybe in 10 years you will have a European league," he said in The Daily Mail.

"I’m not sure 100 per cent, 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."

The Gunners will battle Celtic on Tuesday evening for not only a place in the group stages of the Champions League, but also a very healthy cash injection.

The winner of the play-off tie with take home more than £26 million in prize money and broadcasting rights - just the tip of the iceberg where the competition's monetary incentives are concerned.

But Wenger continued, "The way we are going now, financially, is that even the money coming in from the Champions League will not be enough for some clubs because they spend too much. The income is basically owned by UEFA and they distribute the money to the clubs."

The idea of the continent's biggest and most popular clubs breaking away from their respective domestic competitions to form a stand-alone system has simmered for years now without ever taking shape.

Wenger is not wholly opposed to the concept, but he believes a 'bookend' system without promotion and demotion will only serve to destroy the existing national leagues - especially if the big teams desert those competitions altogether.

"Personally, I believe only in sporting merit. So, if one is created, it has to be a transfer up and down. That is very difficult to resolve practically," he said.

"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 clubs basically have two teams."

Mike Maguire, Goal.com


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