Wednesday, August 5, 1998 Published at 19:34 GMT 20:34 UK
English football teams confirm superleague talks
Europe's big match but for how long? The Champions League final
Manchester United and Arsenal have confirmed rumours that they are in talks with top European teams to form a superleague and have said they are interested in joining if it emerges.
Dutch football club Ajax also issued a similar statement.
Superleague teams could get the boot
Fifa and Uefa, the world and European governing bodies, have warned that those involved in a breakaway could find themselves in the football wilderness.
The Football Association's spokesman Steve Double said that was a worst case scenario which could hopefully be avoided.
The Premiership rules forbid English clubs from taking part in unsanctioned competitions. Any English superleague participants could face immediate suspension, but according to Neil Bennett, the BBC's Sports Correspondent, this would be in nobody's interest.
Compromise could be difficult
According to two leading German football officials, Uefa has plans for a superleague of its own.
Uefa's spokesman, Frits Ahlstroem, did not confirm this, but said the organization had plans for the future which could be made public when it meets in October.
"The difference between Uefa and the other group is that we have to speak to everyone involved before we make any of our intentions public," he said.
Money is behind the move
The prospect of more money is what has motivated the would-be superleague teams to risk expulsion.
Currently only the top two teams in each country can play in Europe.
The European matches are very lucrative - they bring in millions to the clubs involved each season - but they are not a guaranteed source of income.
"These clubs quite fancy the idea of playing every season at this level of competition - in other words making themselves permanent members of Europe's elite," says Neil Bennett.
English fans interviewed by the BBC worry that they would find it expensive to attend their teams' matches in Europe and said they would not want their teams to be expelled from the Premiership or the FA Cup because of the move.
"If it's going to take us away from the Premiership, then I'd rather avoid the European league," one fan said. "It's the bread and butter over here - we aren't going to be able to afford going all over Europe."