European Leagues warns over dangers a breakaway

European Leagues has backed UEFA control of club football across the continent amid reports of a so-called "super league" breakaway.

A breakaway European "super league" would risk long-term damage to top-flight professional football, according to the European Leagues organisation.

German magazine Der Spiegel reported last week that Bayern Munich and their chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge attempted to lead some of the continent's biggest clubs into a new competition.

The allegations, which were based on documents purportedly attained from whistleblowers Football Leaks, have been strongly denied by both Bayern and Rummenigge.

European Leagues, which acts on matters of common interest regarding clubs from the 32 professional leagues it represents – spanning 25 countries – defended the sporting merits of promotion and relegation models in a statement condemning the notion of a breakaway.

"The European Leagues note the ongoing rumours and speculations around the possible creation of a European Super League by the big European professional clubs," the statement read

"The Association of European Leagues has consistently voiced its strong opposition to the creation of any 'closed and franchised style' Super League.

"The Leagues supports the European sports model based on a pyramid structure where the mechanisms of promotion and relegation and the sporting merits of clubs are at the core of any competition."

European Leagues aligned itself with UEFA on the matter and called for competitive balance in club football to be protected, with the importance of domestic football to fans and national associations also highlighted.

"Domestic football is at the heart of the game throughout Europe for all football stakeholders: players, clubs, leagues, national associations and, more importantly, fans," the statement continued.

"Proposals for a closed Super League will have serious and lasting implications for the long-term sustainability of professional football in Europe.

"Within this context, the European Leagues fully supports UEFA in the management and organization of European Club Competitions and shares with UEFA the common principle of protecting and enhancing competitive balance in European football."

In their statement addressing the super-league claims, Bayern criticised Der Spiegel's reporting.

"FC Bayern is unaware of recent plans for a so-called Super League, also reported by Der Spiegel, nor has FC Bayern taken part in negotiations relating to such plans," a statement read.

"FC Bayern is also unaware of why it is listed in a document quoted in this context by Der Spiegel."

Speaking to Sky, Rummenigge suggested the club could consider legal action.

"I am confused about the coverage. The fact is, no European club has every approached the topic of a Super League," he told Sky.

"We completely stand by our membership in the Bundesliga, as well as in UEFA and the European competitions they organise.

"We have never questioned that. We will check this over the next few days with our lawyers.

"I can only say the whole article has a tabloid style, containing half-truths and untruths, which do not correspond to the facts."