MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 01:  Karim Benzema of Madrid celebrates after scoring his teams first goal during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final Second Leg match between Real Madrid and Bayern Muenchen at the Bernabeu on May 1, 2018 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Arsene Wenger says people will want to watch teams such as Real Madrid, in white, play Bayern Munich, in red, on a more regular basis. Lars Baron / Getty Images

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger predicts 'inevitable' European super league



Outgoing Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says a new European competition will revolutionise the sport in the next few years and force Premier League matches to be played midweek instead.

The Frenchman has guided Arsenal through a fair share of changes throughout his almost 22-year reign in north London and believes that a European super league will be the next major development.

"The next evolution - in a few years you will have a European league over the weekends," Wenger told British media.

"A domestic league will play Tuesday-Wednesday. That is the next step. It will happen and it will be soon because it is a way for other clubs to fight against the Premier League."

Wenger, 68, said that a new elite competition was imminent as big clubs across Europe were unhappy with the current distribution of revenue from domestic TV income with their smaller counterparts.

"It is inevitable. Why? Because the big clubs will say that if two smaller clubs are playing each other nobody wants to watch it. People want to watch quality. So we have to share the money but nobody is interested in you," Wenger added.

"If you want to make it [Premier League] more attractive you have to go down to 16 [teams] and make a real competition of it. It will be smaller if it [the big teams] goes to Europe."

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Wenger, a member of the Uefa Elite Coaches Forum, says the change will also help European football's governing body tackle the issue of shrinking Champions League audiences.

"It will be soon because it is a way for other clubs to fight against the Premier League," Wenger said. "There's a contrast there because if you look at the audiences of the Champions League it is not fantastic.

"But if you have Real Madrid v Barcelona, or Real Madrid v Arsenal, or Manchester United v Bayern Munich every week the audiences will be good."

Wenger will lead Arsenal for the final time in Sunday's league match against Huddersfield Town.

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Representing UAE overseas

If Catherine Richards debuts for Wales in the Six Nations, she will be the latest to have made it from the UAE to the top tier of the international game in the oval ball codes.

Seren Gough-Walters (Wales rugby league)
Born in Dubai, raised in Sharjah, and once an immigration officer at the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi, she debuted for Wales in rugby league in 2021.

Sophie Shams (England sevens)
With an Emirati father and English mother, Shams excelled at rugby at school in Dubai, and went on to represent England on the sevens circuit.

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Made her Test rugby bow for Ireland against England in 2015, having played for four years in the capital with Abu Dhabi Harlequins previously.

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Indika

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Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
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