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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Top Premier League clubs happy with Champions League format - sources

Big-name Premier League clubs are happy with the current Champions League format following a report that talks about a European Super League have been held this week, sources have told ESPN FC.

The Sun has reported that officials from Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool met with American billionaire Stephen Ross in London on Tuesday to discuss forming a European Super League.

Sources confirmed to ESPN FC that discussions have taken place about a breakaway league amid concerns from sides in Italy and Spain about the growing financial power of Premier League teams. However, Ross was not present in London for the meeting.

A European Super League could be formed to ensure big-name clubs avoid the risk of failing to qualify for Europe's current biggest cup competition, the Champions League.

Arsenal, though, are against any breakaway and want the Champions League to remain. A club spokesman told Press Association Sport: "We are strongly opposed to any breakaway.

"Not Arsenal, nor any clubs at the meeting, are seeking changes to the Premier League and European landscape and no conversations surrounding displacing the Premier League or starting a European Super League took place.

"Discussions were primarily around the ICC and formats of European competitions that would complement the existing Premier League."

A source has told ESPN FC that United are opposed to a breakaway European competition, while PA Sport reports that Liverpool also remain strong supporters of the existing structure of European football.

Sources confirmed to ESPN FC that the main focus of Tuesday's meeting in London was to discuss the International Champions Cup, the preseason tournament which has seen major clubs play in the U.S., China and Australia. Tuesday's meeting was with Ross' company, Relevent Sports, rather than the owner of American football franchise Miami Dolphins.

A European Club Association spokesperson, asked about the meeting, added to PA Sport: "There's a lot of discussion around the future of European competitions at the moment, as always ahead of a new competition cycle. Discussions are taking place at different levels, but, for the moment, nothing concrete was brought up at ECA."

ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent Mattias Karen, Chelsea correspondent Liam Twomey and Manchester United correspondent Arindam Rej contributed to this report


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