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Aug 18, 2009

Wenger: Cash will force European Super League

Arsene Wenger has revealed he believes a European Super League could become a reality within the next 10 years.

The Arsenal boss, preparing for Tuesday night's Champions League Play-off showdown with Celtic at Parkhead, believes some clubs will soon become frustrated with the level of financial rewards on offer in Europe's leading club competition and will look for a way to start a breakaway league.

With clubs such as Manchester City and Real Madrid setting new standards for transfer spending, Wenger believes it is highly possible there will be moves to create a new league of top clubs.

At present, UEFA ring fence the cash which comes in from the Champions League and then redistribute it. But with a new European Super League the clubs could take control of those riches.

Wenger did not go as far as to say it was a certainty, but he believes moves are afoot to make an idea which has been mooted for a long time become a reality.

"The national leagues will survive, but maybe in 10 years you will have a European League," Wenger said. "The way we are going now financially, even the money coming in from the Champions League, for some clubs who spend so much money, will not be enough anymore because the income is basically owned by UEFA and they distribute the money to the clubs.

"I'm not sure 100% that I am right, but I feel that there are some voices behind the scenes in our game aiming to do something about a European league, especially if the rules become too restrictive for the big clubs as things currently stand.

"If a European league (does happen) the question is whether clubs will transfer from a national league or whether it is a franchised European league.

"That's the question people will have to answer.

"I personally believe only in sporting merit, so if one league is created there has to be promotion up and down. But that would be, practically, very difficult to resolve.

"I do not want to kill the national leagues so each team should have to play in the national league and in Europe.

"That means the Euro league taking place in midweek and the national league over the weekend. All this would mean having two teams, basically.''

Wenger went on to warn Celtic that his side, who kicked off their season with a stunning 6-1 win over Everton, have the potential to do even better.

"We go into the game maybe a little bit lifted and with belief and confidence because we had a good result away from home at a difficult place,'' he said.

"But you can't come to any conclusions after one game. ''There is room for improvement in every aspect of the game on Saturday, offensively and defensively.

"With every opportunity we created we scored in that game and that shows that the team is highly focussed. But our targets have not been reached yet.

"I want to do what is right for the team and the club and to help this team achieve success. I believe we have the potential to do it, but I am long enough in the job to know that one game is only one game.''

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