The main reason to do this would be to challenge the big 5/6 in Europe as the Television deals in those countries are massive i.e. Barclays Premier League - £5.74 billion over 3 years. The biggest current deal of the leagues that could be involved is the Eredivisie - €1 billion over 12 years.
There is a precedent as in Rugby Union the Scottish, Irish and Welsh leagues (eventually joined by Italy) merged into the Celtic League to rival the Aviva Premiership (England) and Top 14 (France). This worked as all three leagues are about even in Heineken Cup wins.
From what countries would the teams have to be in to get in this so called "Atlantic League"?
Ideally it would be made of a contingent of Dutch, Belgian, Scottish, Danish, Swedish and Norweigian clubs. There would not be one league, there would have to be a Premiership and a Championship of about 18 clubs in each.
For example, the Netherlands would have 8 teams (5 in Prem), Denmark would have 7 (3 in Prem), Belgium would have 6 (4 in Prem), Scotland would 6 (3 in Prem), Sweden would have 6 (2 in Prem) and Norway would have 3 (1 in Prem).
What is the allocation of teams based on?
This is an educated guess but this is mainly based on current UEFA coefficients and also on history of these countries in European competition:
Current UEFA coefficients:
|8||9||+1||Netherlands (L, C)||9.416||11.166||13.600||4.214||4.750||43.146|
|10||11||+1||Belgium (L, C)||8.700||4.600||10.100||6.500||6.200||36.100|
|19||15||−4||Denmark (L, C)||4.400||6.700||3.100||3.300||3.600||21.100|
|23||24||+1||Scotland (L, C)||2.666||3.600||2.750||4.300||3.250||16.566|
|24||23||−1||Sweden (L, C)||2.500||2.600||2.900||5.125||3.200||16.325|
|26||27||+1||Norway (L, C)||2.100||2.375||2.300||4.900||2.600||14.275|
If the qualifying was now what would the leagues look like?
- Ajax (4 times European Cup Winners)
- Feynoord (European Cup Winners)
- PSV (European Cup Winners)
- FC Copenhagen
- Standard Liege
- Club Brugge
- Celtic (European Cup winners)
- Dundee Utd (European Cup SF, UEFA Cup finalists)
Can this really happen?
In an ideal world, yes. However if either the Dutch, Belgian, Danish or Scottish leagues pulled out it would have a major impact in this going ahead. Several Chairmen have muted the possibility like Harry van Rajj of PSV. The likelyhood is that the national Assocations will never agree to this or UEFA/FIFA will block this, which is a shame as it gives a chance for a small team like Motherwell to compete against Europe's elite.