Aston Villa manager Dean Smith said on Tuesday a breakaway European Super League risked shattering the dreams of clubs like his and had to be stopped.

Football League founder member Villa won the old European Cup, precursor to the Champions League, in 1982 but is not among the ‘big six’ English sides involved in the proposed new league.

Smith said Villa, who host Premier League leader Manchester City on Wednesday, had been a third division club when he was born in 1971.

“Eleven years later I watched them lift the European Cup, which is the pinnacle… and that was the dream, they earned the right to do that by winning the League the previous season,” he said.

“The Champions League in its format probably needs to evolve now and change, but to then create your own Super League from where there is no promotion and relegation, it just totally baffles me.

“It actually takes away the…

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