Benfica lobby for inclusion in the ESL and JP Morgan approach Napoli
- UEFA Europa League
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As the news of the ESL continues to reverberate across the globe, we enter the second day still no clearer on whether it will actually happen, what will happen if it does happen and countless other questions that require answers.
One of the strangest things to see yesterday was the seemingly obvious lack of it being a Super League, as so many big clubs aren’t going to be involved. Yes we are all aware that the German clubs are currently firmly saying no. We also know that PSG aren’t coming in as of now. But what about the other teams who would feel they should be a part of this including other Premier League, La Liga and Serie A teams?
Where are the Glasgow’s Old Firm Celtic and Rangers? They are both huge teams from a football mad city and given the same financial platform as the others would likely compete.. perhaps that is why they aren’t there. Where is Ajax? No one can deny their European pedigree. Where are other French teams, Turkish teams and the great old Eastern European teams of the past?
Also the Portuguese teams. Porto declined initial approaches but one of their great rivals, Benfica, have today shown their hand, and they want in and we shouldn’t be at all surprised by this.
— Zach Lowy (@ZachLowy) April 20, 2021
BOLOGNA, ITALY – APRIL 10: Supporters of Napoli wave flags during the Serie A match between Bologna FC and SSC Napoli at Stadio Renato Dall’Ara on April 10, 2011 in Bologna, Italy. (Photo by Massimo Paolone / Iguana Press/Getty Images)
Stories are breaking all the time around the ESL and it seems that the door to potential participants may not be shut yet.
The Corriere Dello Sport is reporting this morning that a representative from JP Morgan contacted Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis to get him to commit to the new league, which would make it four Italian clubs in the league.
It isn’t yet clear what the response will be, but De Laurentiis has been vocal in the past about the need for change in football.
The new President of the ESL, Florentino Perez has discussed the possibility of Napoli and Roma into the league saying;
“Meritocracy cannot exist for 50 teams, but there are clubs like Rome, Naples and many others who are entitled to participate and we will study the formula so that they can qualify. But who generates money are the 15 founding members, those are the ones who create the best show in the world. I cannot say who will arrive, we are negotiating, but now we will take a break to explain our intentions, then we will see who can join.”
These comments have been picked up this morning by Fabrizio Romano.
Florentino Perez to Chiringuito: “The 15 founding clubs are the ones that matter the most in terms of entertainment. Others likes of Napoli, Roma will have a chance to be in the competition one year or another and then let’s see”. 🚨
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) April 19, 2021
So whilst Perez claims that a team like Napoli may find themselves in one day, it seems that the actions of JP Morgan, the money behind this whole scheme may be looking to bring additional teams into the fold now.