Rangers and Celtic are wanted to join a British League – as part of the fall-out of the failed Euro breakaway plot.
The Old Firm could be invited to a reformed Premier League set-up being led by the ‘Big Six’, according to reports – and the plans could be ratified by UEFA, FIFA and the UK Government who were vehemently against the ESL plans which fell earlier this week.
As well as the new entries, the plans could also explore end of season play-offs and are seeking a smaller top flight, reduced to 18 teams, The Sun claims.
While England’s Big Six led the humiliating retreat from the Super League debacle, they remain convinced reform of the Premier League is essential.
The Sun quotes a source in England as saying: “Whether or not the European Super League was going to happen, we all feel the Premier League has to be changed and improved.
“It is time we opened it up to Rangers and Celtic. That would make sense for everyone.”
Changes to the Premier League in England have been topical long before this week’s European plans provoked ire across the continent and mass withdrawal on Wednesday of the 12 clubs involved in the proposal. Manchester United and Liverpool were amongst those involved in the ‘Project Big Picture’ think-tank looking at changes to the football system in England.
EPL chief executive Richard Masters was forced to agree to a “strategic review” of the competition’s future, conceding “the status quo is not an option”.
The review was conducted by US-owned Boston Consulting and is due to report back to England’s top 20 clubs in June.
That has led to the possibility of an invite being extended to the Old Firm – a divisive subject frequently revisited, but one which Celtic supremo Dermot Desmond has suggested in the past.
Last autumn the major shareholder at Parkhead predicted a cross-border league would likely surface after a possible Atlantic League was again raised by Irish sports investor Andrew Doyle – but Celtic pulled out.
A cross-border league talking point is not limited to the British Isles either. In March, Belgium’s Jupiler League voted to explore a merger with the Dutch Eredivisie across both countries’ top flights.
Fifa president Gianni Infantino has previously given his blessing for cross-border leagues when asked about proposals for mergers between Holland and Belgium, and also in Mexico and the MLS.
Infantino said: “If we want teams to play at the highest level around the world, we need to have new ideas and we need to see that."
Meanwhile, English football’s ‘Big Six’ clubs could still face Premier League sanctions despite backing out of the breakaway Super League.
The league’s position has not altered since it issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon, when all six were still signatories to the Super League.
At the time, it said: “The Premier League is considering all actions available to prevent it from progressing, as well as holding those (clubs) involved to account under its rules.”
Section L9 of the league’s handbook states member clubs shall not enter or play in extra competitions without the prior written approval of the league’s board.