Soccer: New league could change football

World football could be turned on its head if plans for a new league based in Dubai featuring the world's leading clubs comes to fruition.

According to the Times newspaper the Qatari royal family is backing a new football competition dubbed the Dream Football League (DFL) which would rival UEFA's Champions League and FIFA's Club World Cup competitions.

The tournament would feature 24 teams, 16 of which would be "permanent" DFL members while eight other clubs would enter via invitation. The plan is to have, much like the Champions League, four of the English Premier League's top clubs competing.

Teams like Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid could be offered around €200 million ($NZD314m) per two-year cycle - much more compared to the Champions League where Chelsea received $NZD85m as champions last season.

The tournament would likely take place during the summer meaning teams would continue playing in their local leagues but the gap it would create in terms of revenue between rival clubs could have a damaging effect.

It could mean the rich clubs get richer and the poorer clubs continue to struggle.

The DFL plans to hold the tournament in six cities, with venues in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and possibly Saudi Arabia.

UEFA are currently considering the idea of expanding the Champions League from 32 teams to 64, and dissolving the Europa League tournament in the process.

The Europa League earns one-sixth of the Champions League's $US1.73 billion annual revenue, which is mostly shared by 32 clubs which reach the group stage.


- nzherald.co.nz/AP

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