Napoli president De Laurentiis...


Napoli president De Laurentiis has new €10billion Super League proposal

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The idea of a European Super League is not going away any time soon, especially if Aurelio De Laurentiis has anything to do with it. 

Napoli's president is aiming to resurrect the idea, backed by €10billion worth of investment and a few major tweaks.

The most recent incarnation of a Super League is all-but dead, with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus still clinging to the life raft of a ship that sank earlier this year.

Those three are the only holdouts from the original dozen who attempted to break away from the European status quo.

The Super League proposal proved deeply unpopular with English fans in particular, but De Laurentiis believes he can fix one of the major sticking points.

The film producer's vision of a European Super League is a meritocracy, where teams earn their places. The previous Super League proposal looked to be a closed shop for its founders.

"The system doesn't work any more," De Laurentiis told the Daily Mail, "The Champions and Europa League don't generate sufficient income for the clubs to justify participating in it.

"To be competitive, you need more top-class players. That means you have to spend more money — and the prize money from the European competitions doesn't account for that.

"That is why the clubs need to speak to each other to come up with a more modern and lucrative tournament for everyone in it.

"We need to reduce the number of games by reducing the size of the top divisions across Europe.

"Also, we create a European league with a democratic system of entry, based on what teams achieve in their domestic competitions.

"I have examined a project ready to bring €10billion to the European game, but we need willingness and total independence."

De Laurentiis bought Napoli in 2004 when the club - following bankruptcy - had fallen into the depths of Serie C.

Under his guidance, they returned to Serie A in 2007, and have qualified for the Champions League group stage on five occasions.

The 72-year old has warned that radical change is needed, with younger people moving away from football as a spectacle.

"If we don't change the rules of the game and make it a better spectacle, young people will abandon us and football will no longer be the central part of our lives," De Laurentiis said.

"My research tells me that people between the ages of eight and 25 have stopped watching football and prefer playing with smartphones — they have totally transformed our children.

"I'm not saying that the habit of watching live football in a stadium will die, but now we have the 'virtual stadium', which can attract billions of people to play games against each other.

"Who knows if we will manage to get them back down the route of the greatest and most influential sport in the world?"

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Aurelio De Laurentiis Champions League Europa League European Super League Napoli Super League UEFA

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