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Gulf-backed football teams could leave Champions League

Gulf-backed football teams could leave Champions League

Arsenal and Manchester City among English teams considering new breakaway competition.

A group of England’s biggest Premier League football teams could leave Europe’s top cup competition in order to form a new breakaway league, according to reports.

Emirates-backed Arsenal and Abu Dhabi United Group-backed Manchester City are among five clubs believed to have held talks over leaving the Champions League in order to start a new European Super League.

Reported in British daily newspaper The Sun, representatives from Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United met at London’s upmarket Dorchester Hotel to hold talks with American billionaire Stephen Ross.

The newspaper claims high-level executives were pictured leaving the hotel on Tuesday afternoon, including United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, City’s chief executive Ferran Soriano and Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre.

Real estate developer Ross, who owns NFL team the Miami Dolphins, has previous form in creating high-profile competitions. He is behind the International Champions Cup, which takes place during pre-season and features a number of the world’s leading teams.

The report suggests Ross, who has a net worth of more than $4bn, would like 20 teams to join the new Super League.

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