The CEO of the German Football League (DFL) has warned UEFA to take proposals for a new European Super League seriously.
Senior officials from Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool were pictured at the Dorchester Hotel in London last week after a meeting with representatives of Relevent Sport, the organisers of the preseason International Champions Cup tournament.
Each of the clubs denied that discussing a breakaway competition was on the agenda and insisted they were happy with the current Champions League format.
The Super League idea would ensure big-name clubs avoided the risk of failing to qualify for the Champions League.
Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has said he could not rule out the possibility of a league consisting of clubs from Spain, England, Germany, Italy and France.
And speaking to Sport Bild on Wednesday, DFL CEO Christian Seifert said: "If I were at UEFA, I would take that idea of a Super League seriously.
"UEFA takes a respectable share of the marketing income [from the Champions League]. Clubs, especially big clubs, will one day ask whether that's justified."
According to the 2014-15 UEFA financial figures, European football's governing body generated €1.465 billion from the Champions League alone.
Of that, it returned €1.038bn to the participating clubs plus a further €126 million to Europa League clubs and solidarity funds.
Officials at many German clubs remain sceptical about the Super League idea, with Bayer Leverkusen CEO Michael Schade telling the paper there is "no necessity for a new Super League" because the Champions League "from the knockout stages on is a Super League already."
Wolfsburg sporting executive Klaus Allofs has said it would be impossible to have a new league next to the already existing national and continental leagues.