MILAN/MUNICH: The spectre of a European club superleague has been raised by Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the chairman of not only German champions Bayern Munich but of the European Club Association writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Rummenigge was speaking in Milan at a panel discussion organised by the Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi entitled Financial Fair Play in Europe and Italy.

The former West Germany captain has long-standing links with Milan after starring there in the 1980s for Internazionale.

Asked about his vision for the future of European football, Rummenigge said: “I do not rule out the creation one day of a European league featuring the big clubs of from Italy, Germany, England, Spain and France .”

However Rummenigge did not envisage a pirate league. The club game needed to “adapt to the new challenges of globalisation” but could continue along that path under the aegis of the European federation UEFA.

The original European Champions Cup was launched by the French newspaper L’Equipe in the mid-1950s and adminstration was taken over by the fledgling UEFA. In the early 1990s the competition evolved into the Champions League, adding more clubs and creating the mini-league formula which guaranteed participating club at least three home fixtures.

This concept was enough to head off proposals for a European club league being developed at the instigation of Silvio Berlusconi, then the newly ambitious owner/president of AC Milan.

At various times since then the clubs have rattled their cage to keep UEFA maintaining a steady increase in the clubs’ revenue share from the Champions League’s remarkable worldwide success.

In the current season, UEFA expects to share €2.24m of its €1.6bn revenue among the clubs in the Champions League and Europa League.