Rumours of a European Super League have surfaced before, with talk some of Europe’s most historic and famous clubs could break off and form their own competition.
Such talks have reportedly lead to concessions made by UEFA to the clubs for a greater share of the Champions League revenue in order to keep the big sides in the competition.
Der Spiegel 's report, based on documents published obtained by the paper from Football Leaks, a football whistleblowing website, indicates that a new league, formed independently of UEFA, would be a 16-team competition with a group stage and a knockout round, beginning in 2021.
In addition the league would consist of 11 founding members and five guest teams, with the founders immune to relegation and guaranteed spots in the league for 20 years.
According to Der Spiegel 's report, the draft document alleges that the 11 founding members of the new league would be La Liga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, Premier League heavyweights Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, and the Serie A duo of Juventus and AC Milan, while Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain rounds out the group.
The same documents allege that the five guest teams would be Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Marseille, Inter and Roma, and that a secondary league could also be formed, with the five guest teams potentially having to face off against the top teams from that second league yearly in order to maintain their place in the competition.
The documents obtained by Der Spiegel allege that this would allow the new league to avoid running afoul of European law by not closing off the competition entirely.
It is unclear if the new league would simply replace the Champions League or whether it would see the members withdraw from their domestic competitions as well.
Football leaks claims date for the 16 initial teams to sign a binding term sheet is set for this November, though a specific day has not been decided.