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Chelsea's Guus Hiddink: UCL shouldn't be exclusive as 'Football is for all'

LONDON -- Guus Hiddink says that football must be careful not to go into "exclusivity" amid reports that the Premier League's top clubs have met to discuss a potential European Super League.

Executives from Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool met at the Dorchester Hotel in London earlier this week and discussed alternative formats to the Champions League.

The primary subject of the meeting was the preseason International Champions Cup, and sources told ESPN FC that a European Super League was not discussed. Arsenal later issued a statement insisting they are happy with the existing Champions League structure.

But on Thursday, the Relevent Sports chairman who hosted the meeting argued that elite clubs should be guaranteed a place in top European competition and insisted "there are good arguments for a closed system."

Hiddink believes such an idea is dangerous and does a disservice to the achievements of Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur -- who are both on course for Champions League qualification this season -- among others.

"I haven't heard details," Hiddink said. "In general I think we must all be careful to go into exclusivity. This year Leicester deserves the full right to be recognised where they are now and a good contestant for the next Champions League year.

Chelsea are in the Champions League, but manager Guus Hiddink says smaller clubs have a right to be there as well.

"I think we must not forget what it's all about -- Leicester knocking on the door, unexpected players knocking on the door. You give them the opportunity but they must make it happen. It's good for the league.

"We must be careful to have always in mind what football is about. I understand in football nowadays there are a lot of things going on the commercial side, on the marketing side, on the TV side. It's OK but we must never forget it's football.

"I don't know in detail what has been discussed but football is for all."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he wanted to see concrete proof of the discussions before he weighed in on the subject.

"I don't know much about this discussion, [the press officer] told me now," Klopp said. "I heard there was a meeting of top CEOs but everyone says they didn't talk about the thing everyone's writing they talked about, then I'm asked to talk about what everyone says they didn't talk about.

"Ask me when they are talking about what they are writing about."

Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him @Liam_Twomey or on Facebook.


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