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'This idea will not go far' - Ex-Arsenal boss Wenger casts doubt over Super League

12:55 BST 19/04/2021
Arsene Wenger Arsenal
The former Gunners manager, who now fills a role at FIFA, says any project that threatens the "unity" of football will be opposed

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger considers the Super League proposal of 12 leading sides in European football to be a "bad idea" and says it "will not go far" as it threatens the "unity" of the game.

Elite teams from across the continent have stated that they intend to introduce a new competition to the calendar that allows them to battle among themselves, with plans being put in place for a big launch party in 2021-22.

Arsenal are among those to have signed up, as part of the Premier League's 'Big Six', with three sides from Italy and as many from Spain also getting involved in a project that Wenger - who now fills a role at FIFA - cannot see getting off the ground.

What has been said?

Wenger, who spent 22 years as Gunners boss and is now FIFA's head of global development, told talkSPORT: "I would say that’s a bad idea. Football has to stay united, it’s the most important thing.

"It’s based on sporting merit and overall to respect the history that has been built from European football.

"I believe, personally, that this idea will not go far.

"I don’t know what exactly is behind (it). There is a more dangerous idea behind it and it’s a big threat for the Premier League.

"When I was still in charge it was a lot going on from other countries to diminish the dominance of the Premier League and a project like that would certainly accelerate that."

Why is a Super League being drawn up?

The introduction of a new continental division is nothing new, with a Super League having been proposed in various guises for several years.

Efforts to make that a reality have now taken a sizeable step forward, but widespread opposition to reform could throw a spanner into the works.

Supporters, former players and sporting organisations from across the planet have spoken out against the proposals led by Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Inter, Juventus and AC Milan.

Quizzed further on why the Gunners have got involved, Wenger said: "I don’t know what’s going on but that doesn’t change what I think. I believe for me, the most important, is to keep unity in the game and that football is played the same all over the world and that it’s inside one organisation.

"I think it was a strength as football was the most popular sport in the world and this was one of the reasons.

"Absolutely we have to fight to keep football simple, understandable and based on merit and everybody has the same chance and dream to be successful."

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