Carlo Ancelotti: ‘I thought European Super League was a joke!’

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Malik Ouzia
·2-min read
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 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has revealed he thought the European Super League was “a joke” when he first heard about the breakaway proposal.

The Toffees boss has managed a third of the twelve founder clubs - Chelsea, Real Madrid, Juventus and AC Milan - as well as the two biggest clubs to have rejected invitations: PSG and Bayern Munich.

The Italian - whose side face another ESL founder, Arsenal, tomorrow night - is one of European football’s most respected figures, having won the Champions League three times as a manager, as well as the old European Cup twice as a player.

“My immediate reaction was they are joking, ‘Is it a joke?’,” he said.

“They wanted to build a competition without sporting merit. This is not acceptable because in our culture, we were brought up to have sporting merit. They were wrong - full stop.”

While the Super League in its current form appears dead in the water, with nine of the 12 founders, including all six English clubs, having withdrawn, Ancelotti believes future reform of European competition is inevitable.

On Monday, Uefa rubber-stamped plans for an expanded 36-team Champions League, following a so-called Swiss Model, to come into place from 2024.

“I think that the Super League as they proposed it is impossible, but a new way of Champions League I think (can be achieved),” Ancelotti added.

“I think in 2024 there will be a new format for the Champions League and on there I think that they can talk and find the best solution to have this competition more and more exciting and competitive.

“Every one of us wants the Champions League to be more competitive. It gets exciting from March. It could be exciting from September.

“The new format will be better, it will be more exciting from the beginning, but I think that the 12 clubs were not happy about that. If they were happy, they could accept this.”

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