According to a report in The Times, FIFA are planning the creation of a 24-team club World Cup.
The competition would be held every four years and it would replace the current club World Cup competition which takes place on an annual basis and it would also see the removal of the Confederations Cup, which is being proposed to alleviate fears about fatigue for the world’s top players.
It is understood that Liverpool and Manchester United will be invited to participate in the competition alongside Real Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Ajax, Inter Milan and Juventus. Three other teams would be selected on different criteria who would finalise the European representation.
According to the report, UEFA are allegedly furious with the plans, as it would detract from their main earner, the Champions League.
It is hoped the competition will begin in 2021 and that China are keen to host the inaugural edition of the tournament. The 24 clubs would share a pot of approximately £1.5 billion with the winner earning £100 million and a guaranteed £50 million just for participating.
The consortium backing the competition is being led by Japan’s Softbank with the main backers coming from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
“We have spoken to various people about the health and safety aspects of this, the well-being of players and ensuring they are not overworked,” Bobby Barnes, the European president of the international players’ union Fifpro, told The Times.
“This is part of the whole discussion around the international match calendar, so if there is no annual Club World Cup and no Confederations Cup, it may not mean more matches for the players.”