SBD/June 17, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Rupert Murdoch Planning Global Summer Soccer League For Top European Clubs

Murdoch's soccer league would be a 16-team competition run for 10 years
News Corp. Chair & CEO Rupert Murdoch "is exploring an ambitious plan to create a summer football competition featuring Europe's top clubs, including English Premier League sides," with matches to be played in cities from L.A. to Shanghai, according to Sweney & Gibson of the GUARDIAN. The idea would "see a 16-team competition run for 10 years with a potential start date of 2015 in the close season when clubs traditionally play exhibition matches." Matches would be "aired on Sky and by Murdoch's other broadcasters worldwide." A source described the plan as similar to the "Formula One-isation of football," with cities "bidding to host tournament matches." Approaches have been made to a number of cities by execs from Murdoch subsidiary Fox Int'l to "explore partnerships to host the exhibition-style tournament matches" (GUARDIAN, 6/14). In London, Josie Ensor reported the "idea to start a European super league has previously been attempted with little success." News Corp. in '11 also made an "unsuccessful attempt to take control" of F1 (London TELEGRAPH, 6/16).
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