Football super league `to start in 2000'

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The Independent Online
A EUROPEAN football super league could be announced within weeks after a meeting yesterday between the Continent's leading clubs and the company behind the league.

The proposed league, which is likely to include Manchester United and Arsenal, may start as soon as the summer of 2000.

Representatives from the Continent's largest clubs met in London with Media Partners, the Milan-based marketing and sports rights' company planning the league, to discuss the proposals. The clubs have been promised huge financial rewards for joining the league, with some estimates being as high as pounds 100m per club per year.

Media Partners reportedly gave assurances that it would run the league with the best interests of football in mind.

"Media Partners can confirm that a productive meeting took place today in London with a number of Europe's leading football clubs," said a statement issued by the company last night. "The well-attended meeting discussed further the proposals to develop the European Football League."

At the moment, European club competitions are run by Uefa, European football's governing body, which also controls the distribution of the revenue.

Europe's larger clubs argued that they did not receive a large enough share of this revenue - about 55 per cent goes to the participating clubs - and asked Uefa to make changes to accommodate their views. Uefa have failed to do so, and Media Partners are now offering an alternative.