Representatives of the seven world’s richest soccer teams, namely Manchester United, Manchester City, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich today met FIFA for a private meeting aimed at winning the clubs endorsement and support to set up a new multibillion-dollar world club championship.
The seven clubs invited to the meeting had combined revenues of more than $4 billion in 2017, and they command a massive global fan base that would be critical to making FIFA’s secretive discussions about the new tournament, code-named “Project Trophy,” a success.
A Times report says that the new competition would see 12 European clubs – Liverpool, Man United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Ajax, Inter Milan and Juventus, plus three more – invited to compete and share a total of £1.5 billion, with the winners taking home £100 million.
The news comes via a report in the Times, which details how the competition would replace the current annual ‘Club World Cup’ and also see the Confederations Cup being scrapped.
The meeting took place one day after the president of UEFA, Aleksander Ceferin, wrote to FIFA’s president, Gianni Infantino, questioning the wisdom of selling an expanded version of FIFA’s annual Club World Cup to a consortium led by Japan’s SoftBank, which runs the world’s largest technology investment fund. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are among the fund’s biggest backers.
The concept faces stiff opposition from various quarters, including UEFA, which views the move as a threat to the Champions League club tournament. In the coming days, Mr Infantino is expected to notify Fifa’s ruling council of a special meeting at which a decision can be made before the upcoming World Cup in Russia.
A private letter distributed in recent weeks to FIFA members and seen by the Financial Times, Mr Infantino spells out the proposal from the consortium, which has promised to inject $25bn into a Fifa-controlled joint venture that would run a revamped Club World Cup and “Nations League”.