Champions League news

Napoli chief wants UCL 'revolution'

October 24, 2013
By Mark Rodden

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis says he wants to develop a new European competition featuring only the biggest teams from Europe’s top five leagues, and that some Premier League and Bundesliga clubs are interested in the idea.

Aurelio De Laurentiis
GettyImagesDe Laurentiis' Napoli finished second in Serie A last season, but have not won the title since 1990.

UEFA mulls 'Nations League'

De Laurentiis, 64, told L’Equipe that clubs from England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain could be making a lot more money from the Champions League with a concept he described as a "revolution" for the continental game.

"I want to reduce the league to 16 teams and to create a large European Cup that would bring together the five biggest teams from the five best European leagues," he said.

"One week would be devoted to the national championship, the other to the European championship with teams like Manchester United, Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern, AC Milan.

"It would be crazy, the end of the world! This competition could generate five billion euros -- a revolution."

De Laurentiis maintains, however, that all the clubs taking part would have to balance their books.

He also revealed that he had not yet discussed his plan with UEFA president Michel Platini but that he would seek to set up a breakaway tournament if European football’s governing body did not back the idea.

"I’m insisting especially on a new European Cup," he said. "If UEFA persists in not listening to such proposals, then it will be necessary to create an unofficial league.

"But I hope that Michel Platini, with his culture and his intelligence, will continue as the head of UEFA and will open himself to dialogue.

"Everyone seems happy to earn 40 million euros per season in the Champions League. I’m not. I want to earn 150 million or even 200 million euros."

The successful film producer, who has been in charge at Napoli since 2004, conceded that work will be required to persuade some clubs to support his proposal.

"I’d like to be the person who shows the way to follow but to put everyone around the same table is difficult.

"The people who share the same ideas as me are especially the American owners of English clubs and the German directors. A lot of others are tied to tradition."

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