SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said last week that he wouldn’t rule out an Atlantic League with involvement from five Scottish Premiership clubs. But there’s precedent perhaps being set south of the border as Chelsea lead clubs voting for a European Super League.
Manchester City are the only club out of the traditional top six in the English Premier League not to vote for it. Voted for by the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool, The Super League development will send a message to UEFA who are due to announce its new 36-team Champions League format on Monday, to come into force from 2024.
There has been talk for years of a breakaway league, a closed shop for the elite separate from the traditional UEFA structure. An expanded Champions League seemed to be the compromise but there are now crisis talks at UEFA with three teams each from Spain and Italy ready to be announced in the move tonight, Scottish clubs unlikely to get a look-in.
It will be interesting to see how this sets the precedent for Scottish clubs involved in a potential Atlantic League. Aberdeen Celtic, Hearts, Hibs and Rangers were included in plans to take part in a regional competition by Irish sports investor Andrew Doyle. Teams from Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Republic Of Ireland would also take part.
This would be heavily backed by investment bank JP Morgan with a projected income of up to £350 million. Celtic rejected plans earlier in the season despite pleas from Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack not to do so. But now a similar league involving Europe’s elite is close to being formed, potential Atlantic League stakeholders may have one eye on the situation.