Sir Alex Ferguson criticises Real Madrid president’s World League scheme


Sir Alex Ferguson, the former Manchester United manager, has dismissed the appeal of a proposed global Super League comprising the world’s biggest football clubs by saying he “struggles to see why an English team” would contemplate leaving the Premier League to take part.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is reportedly leading attempts to create two world leagues, each with 20 teams, in a move to set up a lucrative competition to rival FIFA’s planned expansion of the Club World Cup from an annual seven-team tournament to a 24-team showpiece held every four years from 2021.

Any clubs choosing to take part would be forced to leave their domestic leagues, and the Champions League, and UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has already branded the proposals a “selfish and egotistical scheme.”

And Ferguson, who won two Champions Leagues as United manager, as well as the Club World Cup in 2008, has added his voice to those rejecting the Super League idea by claiming that the Premier League is too lucrative and successful for any major club to consider leaving behind.

“I’ve read the report suggesting a World Super League for the elite clubs in Europe which would provide greater finances for the clubs,” Ferguson told ESPN.

“Without question it is money-orientated, but surely this would not be attractive to our clubs in the Premier League, which at the moment is the best domestic league in world football and is well-supported financially by Sky, BT and now Amazon.

“I struggle to see why an English team would need to leave.

“Furthermore, the attraction of playing in the Champions League is huge for players, coaches and fans alike, as it remains the ultimate test in club football.

“A lot of clubs with great history could be lost if their partners in Premier League upped sticks.

“I strongly believe this is a realistic appraisal of the value of domestic football.”

Liverpool are attempting to become only the second English club, after United, to win the Club World Cup when they travel to Qatar as European champions next week.

An enlarged tournament of 24 teams is then due to be staged in China in June 2021.

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