There have been low level talks among envoys for some of European football’s secondary leagues about a new continental cup competition, a report has claimed.
According to the Daily Mail, a conference took place in Milan last week, attended by representatives of the second divisions in England, Russia, Netherlands and Italy, who sometimes hold meetings to discuss shared initiatives.
The proposal for a new club competition involving teams who don’t qualify for the Champions League or Europa League, is thought to have been tabled by the Italians, though no potential formats have been discussed.
A previous model, the Anglo-Italian Cup, was played intermittently between the years 1970 and 1996. At first, entrants were typically teams that had finished in the lower half of the first division or in the top half of the second. When the competition was revised for the 1990s, for the first two seasons all English teams playing in the second division participated, but in the last two tournaments only eight English teams took part. In the 1994/95 season the teams playing were two of the relegated clubs from the Premier League and six teams that just missed out on promotion. The Anglo-Italian Cup was eventually scrapped in 1996 due to complaints about fixture congestion.
Supporters of the new cup, however, have suggested that a third competition is the perfect way to make European football more accessible, by extending the novelty to a wider range of teams.
The idea will be presented to members of the Football League with feedback set to be given before the next Euro summit.