Scudamore rules out proposal

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, speaking at a conference in

Qatar earlier this week, said he wants Europe’s top leagues,

including the Premier League, to reduce in size in order to boost

the Champions League. But Premier League chief executive Scudamore

has come out against cutting the English top-flight down from its

present 20 clubs, rejecting a view he feels suits the Spanish club

but not the clubs he represents. “Well that’s very nice of him to

issue that as a statement but that’s a very Barcelona-centric

view,” Scudamore told CNN. “Our clubs have no view whatsoever to be

playing European football on a weekend. European football is a

midweek competition, and domestic football is a weekend

competition.” Rosell even suggested a European breakaway league,

led by the European Club Association of which he is vice-president,

if the number of clubs is not reduced. With the ECA’s memorandum of

understanding with UEFA expiring in 2014, the organisation is

pushing for change. “The objective of reducing from 20 to 16 teams

is to give more space to our players,” Rosell had said. “We want a

bigger Champions League and hope one day we could play perhaps

Barcelona versus Manchester United on Saturdays. It’s something all

of them would have to agree to. That includes the Premier League.

“We want to have the Champions League under the UEFA umbrella but

we want UEFA to hear our demands. We would like to have a Champions

League with more teams. “If UEFA and the ECA reach an agreement,

then that’s good for both parties. If not, with or without the UEFA

umbrella, the ECA is entitled to organise their own champions’

competition by themselves. In the worst case scenario, we will go

away from UEFA.” But Scudamore also rejected the idea of a

breakaway league. He told CNN: “It’s just not going to happen. What

has been said has been said but I’m not going to go along with the

sentiment. “In reality we have a Champions League, it’s a fantastic

competition. Obviously there are some things the clubs would like

to alter and ultimately discussions will take place and UEFA will

do something to make sure things stay intact. “When it comes to

ultimate football sanctions, you just can’t break away.”