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  Monday, 29 April, 2002, 15:42 GMT 16:42 UK
PSV keep Atlantic dream afloat
Rangers and Celtic dominate the league in Scotland
Rangers and Celtic dominate the league in Scotland
Two years ago Uefa dismissed the idea of an 'Atlantic League' as a non-starter, but some clubs are determined to make it a reality. World Football reports...

On last week's show we talked about the financial problems of Scottish clubs, after ten of them gave 2 years notice to resign from the Premier League, potentially leaving only Rangers and Celtic.

This highlighted the problems of some European clubs in countries like Scotland, the Netherlands and Portugal, who argue they've become too big for their domestic leagues.

Marc van Bommel of PSV Eindhoven
PSV Eindhoven are determined to resurrect the Atlantic League
Now PSV Eindhoven have written to around 30 clubs in a bid to resurrect the so-called 'Atlantic League'.

The plan is for a pan-European league that would have promotion and relegation from the national competitions, and its own Champions League spot, just like any other league in Europe.

2 years ago UEFA declared it a non starter. But PSV's Pedro Salasar Hewiit told me how his club were determined to make it happen this time...

"We're still in contact with Rangers, Celtic, Anderlecht, clubs in Portugal and the Netherlands because the problem is still there" he said.
Porto - one of Portugal's giants
Porto - one of Portugal's giants

"Sooner or later we are going to have a European league, with or without the big countries. It's something you can't stop".

"We wouldn't change any existing system. This new league will be a sixth big league, besides Italy, Spain, Germany, France and England.

"The problem is that in these countries there are clubs for whom football is local business, and there are clubs for whom football is international business.

"The small clubs in countries like Belgium, the Netherlands and Scandinavia will have the possibility to become champions of their country, which they don't have now because they can't compete against the big teams.

"As champions they would have the opportunity to go to the Atlantic League and play on a bigger stage with more money and more exposure, and the opportunity to stay there if they do well. In the end the system will work for everybody".

Pedro denied that the new competition would ultimately spell the end for national leagues, and insisted that even if the Atlantic League isn't the best solution, something has to be done.

"At least Uefa have to recognise we have a problem and we have to talk about it" he said.

Rosenborg monopolise the league in Norway
Rosenborg monopolise the league in Norway
"Maybe this isn't the best solution, but in the end we have to do something, because otherwise in the future the Champions League and the Uefa Cup are only going to be won by teams from the big countries.

"And that's not the idea of Uefa and Fifa, because competition is the idea for all the teams in these organisations, and competition is the basis of any sport".

You can hear all of Alan Green's interview with Pedro Salasar Hewitt of PSV Eindhoven on World Football on Saturday 27 April on BBC World Service. Check local listings for exact times. Or you can use the audio link at the top of the page


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