G14, the lobby group set up by Europe's top football clubs, is in
talks with agencies about a brand identity project that could see the
clubs attempt joint commercial opportunities and move them closer to the
formation of a European Super League.
The group, whose members include Manchester United and their conquerors
in last week's Champions' League quarter-final, Bayern Munich, is
holding a pitch involving major ad agency networks and sports marketing
firms to develop a collective brand.
The brief is thought to ask for a total communications solution,
potentially including advertising, PR, brand development and visual
The talks are likely to be viewed with alarm by European football's
governing body, UEFA, which has seen G14 emerge as a powerful voice in
the sport's hierarchy.
The authority may perceive the move by G14 to develop a brand as a
further step along the road to a breakaway European Super League.
G14's other members include traditional European footballing powerhouses
such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, Ajax Amsterdam, Juventus,
Internazionale and Olympique Marseille.
'G14 has moved the interests of the clubs a long way up UEFA's agenda,
particularly in connection with the potential restructuring of both the
Champions' League and the UEFA Cup,' said an industry source. 'The key
question is whether G14 wants to remain a lobbying group or develop a
The G14 clubs have been meeting since 1998 to discuss ways in which they
can combine their commercial and footballing interests in order to
strengthen their position at the UEFA negotiating table.
Key issues include the distribution of broadcasting and commercial
revenues from European club competitions and reforming the European