London (AFP) – Arsene Wenger predicts a European super league will be introduced over the next few years, leading to major changes for the Premier League.
The outgoing Arsenal boss believes Europe’s elite clubs will fight for the introduction of a continental, weekend league to challenge the success of the English top flight.
Wenger, 68, will leave the Emirates Stadium after a reign lasting almost 22 years when the season ends away to Huddersfield on Sunday.
But the Frenchman is predicting a huge overhaul of football in the near future, with Premier League fixtures relegated to midweek slots.
“The next evolution? Maybe I will see you in a few years and you will certainly have a European league over the weekends,” he said.
“A domestic league will certainly play Tuesday/Wednesday. I think that is the next step we will see.”
Wenger said the move was “inevitable” because the big clubs would want a bigger slice of the money that comes into football and would be less willing to share it with their smaller rivals.
The idea of a European league has been mooted for years and could be driven by dwindling Champions League attendances and the fact more revenue is demanded for the Premier League television rights than UEFA’s elite club competition.
“It will be soon because it is a way for other clubs to fight against the Premier League,” Wenger said.
The Arsenal boss predicted matches would take place at weekends to boost crowds.
“Look at the audiences of the Champions League,” he said. “There’s a contrast there because if you look at the audiences of the Champions League it is not fantastic.
“But if you have Real Madrid v Barcelona, or Real Madrid v Arsenal, or Manchester United v Bayern Munich every week the audiences will be good.”
Such a dramatic shift would mean major changes to the Premier League, said Wenger.
“If you want to make it more attractive you have to go down to 16 (teams),” he said. “And make a real competition of it. But it will be smaller if it goes to Europe.”
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