Ranieri and Van Gaal oppose European Super League

Date published: Friday 4th March 2016 5:45

Claudio Ranieri: Says Leicester City are fighting for Champions League

Claudio Ranieri: Says Leicester City are fighting for Champions League

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri says the Premier League’s big clubs “should blame themselves” if they fail to qualify for the Champions League while Manchester United’s Louis van Gaal is not a fan of the current European format.

Representatives from five established powers of the English game – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United – met with the chairman of American company Relevent Sports, Charlie Stillitano, in London on Tuesday.

The meeting was primarily about the pre-season International Champions Cup competition, which is staged in the United States and Asia and organised by Relevent Sports, and the clubs have denied that any discussions took place regarding a European Super League.

However, when asked if a Super League was still on the agenda, Stillitano told radio station Sirius XM on Thursday: ”I think it is. They’re talking about it all over Europe. At least a change in format.

”When they came up with the Champions League, the idea wasn’t to have PSV and Genk playing in the knock-out stage.

“What would Manchester United argue: did we create soccer or did Leicester create (it)?

“Let’s call it the money pot created by soccer and the fandom around the world. Who has had more of an integral role, Manchester United or Leicester? It’s a wonderful, wonderful story – but you could see it from Manchester United’s point of view, too.”

Leicester and Tottenham currently occupy the first two of the four Champions League places available for next season, with United and Liverpool currently outside the Premier League’s top four.

Asked about this week’s events, Ranieri said on Friday: “This is sport, no? I understand they want to do something, but if something strange happens, they shouldn’t blame the little teams, they should blame themselves.

“(Talk surrounding a Super League) is speculation. They are trying to do something, but I think people must think about what fans want, not only about money, because the culture and the fans are more important than other things.”

Former Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Ajax boss Van Gaal, meanwhile, claims he has never been a supporter of plans to form an elite league made up of Europe’s biggest clubs.

The Dutchman even suggested the Champions League should revert back to its old format when only domestic league winners were invited to take part.

The Champions League first allowed the runners-up of eight domestic leagues to participate in the 1997-98 season, when Van Gaal was in charge at Barcelona.

“Everybody knows, when you follow my career, that I am against all the super leagues and something like that,” he said.

“Sport is to be the best and also when the Champions League was (expanding), I said it was rubbish because now the second, third and fourth team is also playing.

“It has to be between champions in my opinion. I said that 20 years ago and I say it now again.

“I think sport is to win, not to be second or third.”

Chelsea interim boss Guus Hiddink appeared to support Ranieri and Van Gaal in suggesting qualification for Europe’s elite competition should be based on sporting success rather than financial might.

“I think we must all be careful to go into exclusivity when teams like, this year, surprisingly, Leicester is mixing in,” he said.

“They have the full right to be where they are now and are a good contender for the next Champions League this year.”

UEFA is aware of the threat of a breakaway competition but remains confident the continent’s elite clubs will remain committed to the Champions League.

It has been suggested that Europe’s top clubs may attempt to exploit the leadership vacuum at UEFA, which has stated it will not set a date for presidential elections until Michel Platini’s hearing over his ban from football at the Court of Arbitration for Sport has been heard.

Greek official Theodore Theodoridis was on Friday unveiled as interim general secretary at UEFA’s executive committee in Nyon, replacing Gianni Infantino who was last week elected the new FIFA president.

While Theodoridis has faith that UEFA will not be deserted, he is keen to continue discussions with all clubs to ensure their needs are satisfied.

He said in a video broadcast on www.uefa.org: “We have experienced a very positive attitude in our discussions with the clubs. What we’re facing is constructive discussions.

“I’m not very worried. It is a big challenge for us, definitely, but I trust also our management that we will be taking the right decisions into the future, always in consultancy with the clubs.”

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Home Forums Ranieri and Van Gaal oppose European Super League

This topic contains 13 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Aguerooooooo 11 months, 3 weeks ago.

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    Sam Nightingale

    Leicester’s Claudio Ranieri says the Premier League’s big clubs “should blame themselves” if they fail to qualify for the Champions League.

    [See the full post at: Ranieri and Van Gaal oppose European Super League]



    Thank goodness to common-sense out there and human beings able to express an opinion without being blinkered by wealth and status.

    Vaan Gaal goes as far as saying he wants the Champions League being revert back to the old format and style of the European Cup which I’m deadly in favour of.

    Whilst on one side we are having discussions about tiredness and trying to find a way of reducing games to find time for resting players, some out there want to impose a Euro Super League.

    Common sense please!!!!!!!!!!!


    nine nine nine

    Nil, I don’t think a Super League is around the corner but I do think it will happen one day because it’s the natural progression of the CL.

    What you have to remember is that there are a majority of big clubs yours among them whose owners are only the owners because they are looking at getting a return on their investment and developing the CL will provide a greater return on investment to these owners.

    The CL will never revert back to being a competition just for the Champions going backwards never happens and such a move would leave one of other of for instance Real or Barca on the sidelines which if nothing else wont make it as an attractive a competition to Sponsors and the worldwide TV audience.

    As the CL develops I hope and believe that it will be under the control of UEFA and it won’t be to the detriment of clubs like Leicester City who will have earned their right to participate in the CL but it would be also be very easy to overcome the loss of a Manchester United,a Liverpool or an AC Milan by giving wild card entries to previous winners for instance and there are moves from the ECA to petition UEFA into doing something about those big clubs who might temporarily find themselves omitted from the CL.

    Let’s wait and see how everything develops over time.



    Nine, to cut a long story short mate, that is simply greed and it kills the aesthetics of the game.

    I really feel those like yourself and I who have not experienced watching football before the ‘conversion’ of the Premier League cannot understand from a purist point of view the snobbery.

    There is already plenty of streams of revenue to be earned, even as far as ‘image rights’ on a stand of a stadium which doesn’t make an ounce of sense to me.

    The owners of Liverpool for example get plenty in return as with Man United. The day this happens, the day I’d consider giving the sport up altogether.


    nine nine nine

    Nil, I was going to Chelsea long before the PL mate and even before there was the tumbleweed on the terraces and the buckets were out to save the Bridge.

    There is an inevitability about how the CL might progress which is bigger that Van Gaal and Ranieri and certainly much bigger than the likes of you or I.

    Time will tell mate. Cheers 999



    Nine,Nil et al.Hopefully it won’t happen ever.
    Or certainly in our lifetimes.



    Let’s hope so mate.

    From my point of view, the League is in a very healthy position despite some out there thinking it’s some sort of a freak show to see Leicester top and other so-called big guns not living up to expectations.

    We want competition at the end of the day and not the same team/s winning it year after year.


    nine nine nine

    But isn’t the CL a better competition for having the likes of Liverpool, United and AC Milan in it alongsides the likes of FC Astana, FC Bate and Gent?

    Also this debate has nothing whatsoever to do with the PL or Leicester City topping the PL this debate has been going on for a long time at the ECA even when Leicester City were still a Championship team.


    nine nine nine

    ……Aguerooooooo I think we will almost certainly see the CL evolve in the next decade.



    Nine, best course of action would be for top 2 of each league to go straight into the Euro Super League, and 3,4 and 5 into the UEFA Cup as a straight knockout competition.

    Whilst it’s definitely good to see these teams, whoever is up there may as well just hand-pick these and form this ‘fantasy league’.

    I still say it’s a disservice to the other teams to disregard them for elite and status quo, but there you go.



    Thanks Nine.Do you not think it’s some of the other European heavy-weights
    of yesteryear like the Milan clubs.Currently Juve.Bayern worried by the amount of
    money that’ll be coming into the Premier league from the start of next season ?


    nine nine nine

    Nil, I’m a bit confused mate you say that some out there percieve Leicester as a freak show yet all I see and read from everybody out there in the media and on the internet are good wishes and support for Leicester in their title challenge and pleasure in their success this season.

    I certainly don’t believe that Leicester should be denied their chance in the CL.

    Where it all goes from here who knows but I can’t see the lessening of teams in fact the reverse.


    nine nine nine

    Aguerooooooo, I think there is definitely significant concern from the major clubs in Europe re the amount of TV money going into the PL clubs.


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