Stoke City chairman Peter Coates has told talkSPORT reports of the formation of a new European Super League should not be taken seriously.
Claims in The Sun on Wednesday suggested representatives from the Premier League’s five biggest clubs met with American billionaire Stephen Ross in London to discuss the potential of a new inter-Europe competition.
Manchester United’s Ed Woodward, Liverpool’s Ian Ayre, Chelsea’s Bruce Buck, Manchester City’s Ferran Soriano and Arsenal’s Ivan Gazidis were all pictured leaving the capital’s Dorchester Hotel on Tuesday, with all the men shaking hands before they departed back to their respective clubs.
The plans from Ross, the owner of the Miami Dolphins, are seen as the biggest threat to English football since the 1992 Premier League breakaway, while it could also spell the end for the Champions League, with Europe’s elite clubs all competing week in, week out.
But Coates believes the story is nothing but rumour, with the Stoke chairman telling talkSPORT it is hard to believe with the Premier League about to enter the most financially prosperous period of its history.
In an exclusive interview with the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, he said: “I think it’s just somebody flying a kite, a bit of speculation. I find it difficult to take it seriously.
“I don’t know what they were meeting about, it could have been for all sorts of things, but one thing I don’t think it would have been about a break-up. saying that, I have no idea why they would exclude current leaders Leicester or Tottenham – it seems to be race between them for the title this season.
“It’s just hard to believe the story. The new Premier League TV deal comes into force next season, so that’s a huge amount of extra revenue for everyone and it’s hard to work out why anyone would want to change that. I just don’t take it seriously.
“The Premier League doesn’t show signings of bursting, it’s obviously a product that works well. We’ve got a very good system and the clubs all work well together, we’ve got something that is exceptionally good and the demonstration of that is the kind of international following it has around the world. When you talk about 2.4 billion viewers a week in 900million homes, it’s pretty impressive stuff.
“It would have ramifications throughout Europe wouldn’t it? This thing has been around in the past and it raises its head now and again for whatever reason.
“The other leagues are, understandably, very envious of the Premier league because of its revenues. Spain have two dominant clubs, Germany really only have one and it’s similar in Italy – it doesn’t work very well for them.
“Paris Saint-Germain have a 25 point lead in France. What kind of competition is that?
“I just wouldn’t give it any credence. I know nothing of it and we’ve had no discussions amongst the clubs along these lines, so I would dismiss it.”
Asked if he was contact to be a part of the meeting, the Stoke chief added: “I haven’t had a call, no, but I’d like them to ring me. Maybe next time.”