Liverpool are rumoured to be one of 12 European clubs invited to play in a revamped 24-team Fifa Club World Cup.
This morning reports from English newspaper the Times have suggested that FIFA are set to invite Liverpool to take part in a revamped Club World Cup competition along with 23 other teams. The competition will take place every four years with the first one penciled in to take place in 2021.
It is understood that China has expressed an interest in being the first nation to host the competition. However, FIFA has yet to make a decision on where it will be held.
The competition would see 12 clubs from across Europe compete against sides from all over the world. So far Liverpool, Man United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Ajax, Inter Milan and Juventus have all been invited as they have all won at least three European Cups.
Reports from Spanish paper SPORT back up the claims made in this morning’s edition of the Times, but they claim that Liverpool are one of the nine clubs who are already guaranteed a spot due to the club’s European success
There will be three other European teams taking part and leading clubs such as Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, PSG, Porto, Benfica and Borussia Dortmund are all in the running to fill those free spots.
The 24 clubs competing would share a pot of £1.5 billion, each club competing will be guaranteed a minimum £50 million with tournament winners earning around £100 million.
The tournament would consist of 24 teams who would compete in eight groups of three, the winners of these eight groups would then progress on to the quarter-finals, which would then obviously be followed by the semi-finals and final.
FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, wants to push on to get an agreement before the World Cup starts on June 14. The Swiss-born Italian is looking to call an emergency FIFA Council meeting for around June 1.
Clubs such as Man United, Man City and Real Madrid have all met with the president and his deputy secretary general, Zvonimir Boban, and have given their approval for the tournament.
However, it is thought that both UEFA and the Premier League aren’t so keen on the plans and will oppose the proposal for the new competition, with UEFA being the biggest stumbling block for FIFA.
The Times reporter Martyn Ziegler claims that UEFA are furious at the proposal as they fear the new tournament could take some of the shine away from the Champions League, the company’s main money supplier.
Bobby Barnes, the European president of international players’ union FIFPro, is a part of a committee that will meet in Lyon at some point today to talk about the plans. The main concern was to make sure that there was no extra physical demand on the players involved.
To help ease fears that it would be too physically challenging, FIFA have planned to scrap both the current Club World Cup that takes place in December as well as the Confederations Cup, a tournament which takes place the summer before every World Cup.
The funding behind the tournament will come from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Japan’s SoftBank who are leading the consortium.
The competition has the potential to be a real game-changer for European club football. Would clubs prioritise that over the Champions League? Or would they just treat the tournament as a pre-season warm up to get their players ready for the domestic season?
Personally, I think it’s just another money-making scheme from FIFA. With that being said, football is now a business man’s sport and the money on offer to just compete is luxurious, to say the least.
It could easily fund a transfer of a decent player in this inflated market. So if run correctly, then I think Liverpool should consider the offer.
What are your thoughts on the potential tournament? Let us know in the comments section below, or tweet either @RousingTheKop or @MxckyB_ to give us your thoughts.