Outgoing Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger predicts European Super League

Arsene Wenger feels football is heading towards a league featuring Europe's super powers. (AFP)
Updated 11 May 2018
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Outgoing Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger predicts European Super League

  • 'You will certainly have a European league over the weekends'
  • Wenger feels move will be money motivated

LONDON: Arsene Wenger predicts a European super league will be introduced over the next few years, leading to major changes for the Premier League.
The outgoing Arsenal boss believes Europe’s elite clubs will fight for the introduction of a continental, weekend league to challenge the success of the English top flight.
Wenger, 68, will leave the Emirates Stadium after a reign lasting almost 22 years when the season ends away to Huddersfield on Sunday.
But the Frenchman is predicting a huge overhaul of football in the near future, with Premier League fixtures relegated to midweek slots.
“The next evolution? Maybe I will see you in a few years and you will certainly have a European league over the weekends,” he said.
“A domestic league will certainly play Tuesday/Wednesday. I think that is the next step we will see.”
Wenger said the move was “inevitable” because the big clubs would want a bigger slice of the money that comes into football and would be less willing to share it with their smaller rivals.
The idea of a European league has been mooted for years and could be driven by dwindling Champions League attendances and the fact more revenue is demanded for the Premier League television rights than UEFA’s elite club competition.
“It will be soon because it is a way for other clubs to fight against the Premier League,” Wenger said.
The Arsenal boss predicted matches would take place at weekends to boost crowds.
“Look at the audiences of the Champions League,” he said. “There’s a contrast there because if you look at the audiences of the Champions League it is not fantastic.
“But if you have Real Madrid v Barcelona, or Real Madrid v Arsenal, or Manchester United v Bayern Munich every week the audiences will be good.”
Such a dramatic shift would mean major changes to the Premier League, said Wenger.
“If you want to make it more attractive you have to go down to 16 (teams),” he said. “And make a real competition of it. But it will be smaller if it goes to Europe.”


Francesco Molinari looking for ‘dream’ end to season in Dubai at DP World Tour Championship

Updated 15 November 2018
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Francesco Molinari looking for ‘dream’ end to season in Dubai at DP World Tour Championship

  • 2018 has been an incredible year for Molinari
  • If Molinari wins this weekend, it would make him just the third player in history to win multiple Rolex Series events

LONDON: Francesco Molinari is looking to end a fairytale season by becoming the European No. 1 at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, which starts today, and the first Italian to achieve the feat.
2018 has been an incredible year for Molinari, with a maiden Major victory in the Open Championship in July, which followed a first Rolex event victory at the BMW PGA Championship in May. He has also not missed a single cut this season, a run that extends over four years in regular European Tour events.
And in a glorious Ryder Cup for the Europeans, he became the first player from the continent to win five points out of five, while securing the winning point in his singles match against USA’s Phil Mickelson.
Speaking to journalists ahead of today’s tee-off, the Italian said: “It feels incredible, a new position for me, I’ve never been here in the past.
“I think it’s just a consequence and a sign of an incredible season. I would have never guessed that I would be here in this position if you told me in April or May this year but it’s been an incredible summer, topped by an unbelievable Ryder Cup.
“Really, it’s a dream season for me and it’s nice to be here in this position. Hopefully I’ll be able to close it out. I know it’s not going to be easy and I’m not making any assumptions but I’ll do my best on the course to do the job.
And when asked about his prospects of winning the Harry Vardon trophy this weekend, he said: “You can have the best week of your life and win one tournament but to win a competition that lasts throughout the season, with the amount of talent there is right now on the European Tour, is something really hard to do but it’s also still hard to figure out for me how I’m here in this position.”
Molinari needs to finish tied-fifth or better at the Jumeirah Golf Estates to seal the Race to Dubai crown, but Ryder Cup partner Tommy Fleetwood — the man he formed such a strong bond with in Paris — is the only man who can prevent him the perfect ending.
Victory for the Englishman on the Earth Course is the only way he can deny Molinari the title, but the Italian was full of praise for his “best friend” and would not begrudge Fleetwood if he successfully defended his Race to Dubai crown.
“I know we said this and we’re going to sound really cheesy but if I don’t win, I’d rather see him win than anyone else,” he said.
“We really are good friends and he’s had an amazing season. To think that he won last year and to come here, still with a chance to win two in a row, it’s incredible, really.
“So fair play to him. What I can say for me is that it’s been a great season and however it goes this week, I’m still going to have lots of great memories from all of what I’ve done this year, and probably the best memory is what we’ve done together with him in France.
“I can’t really be mad at him, even if he wins.”
If Molinari wins this weekend, it would make him just the third player in history to win multiple Rolex Series events and he praised the introduction of the European Tour’s prestige level of tournaments.
“There’s a few events that we target every year,” he said. “It’s great for us to have the opportunity to play in such special tournaments.
“Especially for guys like me, playing a home event in Italy that is part of the Rolex Series, just gives a completely new meaning to the Italian Open.”