Arsenal, Clubs, English Premier League, Story

As plans for a European super league start to emerge, the FC crew discuss how it would work and how it would impact European and global football.

Arsenal managing director Vinai Venkatesham says the club would not break away from the Premier League to join a European Super League.

Reports in Der Spiegel, via Football Leaks, claimed 11 clubs were already keen to sign up to an eventual 16-team competition for the continent’s best teams, with FIFA insisting that any players who joined were at risk of missing out on the World Cup.

Arsenal want to be part of any discussions but Venkatesham told the Press Association that the club have no intention of leaving the Premier League.

“Arsenal aren’t or never have been interested in playing in any competition that weakens the Premier League,” he said. “The Premier League is the world’s leading league in the leading sport, we don’t want to do anything to damage the Premier League.

“When people talk about the European Super League, that covers a really big spectrum. People jump to one end of the spectrum and think this is what we are talking about — but actually often it’s just a slight evolution from where we are today.

“I see these articles that Arsenal want to breakaway, we never want to do any of that. But we also have to recognise we have to be in these conversations or we wouldn’t be responsible.

“We have to be in the conversations, it doesn’t necessarily mean we support them.”

Vinai Venkatesham, Arsenal's managing director, and Raul Sanllehi, head of football.
Venkatesham, right, previously worked as chief commercial officer at the club.

After former chief executive Ivan Gazidis left for AC Milan, Venkatesham was promoted to managing director at Arsenal this summer while Raul Sanllehi became head of football.

Asked about the prospect of a European Super League happening soon, Sanllehi replied: “Not in the short term because we have an agreement with UEFA right now — but I don’t know what the future will bring because the future writes itself.

“But what I can assure you is, we think the current situation is an optimal situation we [Arsenal] are very proud to be in the Premier League. By all means it’s the best competition in the world and we want to be in the Champions League because we believe it’s the best continental competition in the world.

“So that’s why we want to be involved. But right now the situation — I don’t envisage in the short term or medium term radical change.”

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