Chinese plot to form rival football competition to Champions League

Real Madrid: Spanish club won this year's Champions League
Real Madrid: Spanish club won this year's Champions League

China's richest man is planning to launch a rival football competition to the Champions League by luring top European clubs into a breakaway league.

Wang Jianlin, the head of property empire Dalian Wanda Group, said it is in talks with football chiefs and is promising an increase in revenues from broadcasting rights. 

Marco Bogarelli, strategic director of the company’s sports arm, Wanda Sports Holding, told the Financial Times its aim was to attract clubs from Europe’s "big five" TV markets: England, Spain, Italy, France and Germany.

Talks have reportedly begun with power brokers in Spain and Italy, but not yet with the English Premier League, which commands the highest rights fees of any sporting competition in the world.

In February Sky paid £4.18bn to show live Premier League football for the next three seasons after bidding for five out of seven available packages of matches, while BT Sport is paying £960m for the remaining two packages.

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