Saturday, March 18, 2006


(Taken from

LONDON : Eighteen of Europe's richest football clubs have initiated an attempt to kill off the Champions League in its present form and take ownership of the competition from UEFA, the Guardian newspaper reported Saturday.

In what the newspaper called "an internal policy document", it said the so-called G14 group - which includes English sides Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal, but not Chelsea - outlines its intention to guarantee the dominance of its 18 clubs in European football.

"Domestic club competitions currently represent, and will continue to represent, the core football activity of the G14 member clubs," the document was quoted as saying.

"International club competitions represent an indispensable complement to the domestic competitions and therefore need to guarantee the participating clubs a reasonable number of matches, so as to allow these top-level clubs the opportunity to effectively forward plan so that they can maximise their chances of a 'return on investment'."

"Governing structures...would be based on a clear needs basis...This would quite possibly involve a detachment of the top professional level from all remaining levels underneath, if this was agreed upon by the clubs."

The document stated that the final reviewed version became "official G14 policy" last December, although a spokesman told The Guardian on Friday that the leaked text was a draft based on discussions.

He added that 10 key principles published on its website on Thursday were the outcome of subsequent talks.

The G14 was formed in 2000 and kept its name when it added four more members two years later. Members include Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, AC Milan, Juventus FC, Paris St-Germain and Olympique de Marseille. - AFP/ch


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