UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin attacked Real Madrid counterpart Florentino Perez after reports emerged Thursday that the Spanish entrepreneur is planning a breakaway league.
Perez held talks with Europe's top clubs in November to organize two 20-team divisions that would run independent of domestic leagues, people familiar with the discussions told The New York Times' Tariq Panja.
"I have read about this insane plan," Ceferin said in a statement The Associated Press obtained. "If reports are to be believed, it comes from a single club president (not the owner) and a lone football administrator.
"It would be hard to think of a more selfish and egotistical scheme. It would clearly ruin football around the world; for the players, for the fans and for everyone connected with the game - all for the benefit of a tiny number of people."
During the meeting, clubs were told team revenue could be doubled by playing in the new two-tier division.
Word of Perez's grand vision comes after top leagues, including the Premier League and Bundesliga, denounced Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli's plans for a European super league. A leaked document reportedly showed several European giants, including Bayern Munich, Juventus, Real Madrid, and AC Milan, had agreed to join as "founding members." In return, they would be granted direct entry, no matter their performance, for 20 years.
UEFA moved quickly to kill those plans, unveiling a third club competition called the Europa Conference League. It will begin play in 2021 and feature teams from UEFA's lower-ranked member associations.