The most powerful man in European football, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, says there is no chance Europe’s clubs would grant Saudi Arabia’s new financial powerhouses a place in Uefa’s premium Champions League competition.

The explosion in spending in the Saudi Pro League (SPL) - €878 million in fees alone to European top-flight clubs this year – has raised the possibility that the influence they have bought in the game could eventually lead to a wildcard for Uefa’s biggest competitions.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, and Neymar are among those who now play in the SPL – with suggestions that Saudi could lobby Uefa for entry to the competition in the future. Al-Khelaifi, who is chairman of Paris St-Germain, and holds the same position in the European Club Association (ECA), said there was no prospect of SPL clubs in Uefa but did not rule out playing the European Super Cup there.

Speaking at the end of the ECA general assembly in Berlin, Al-Khelaifi said that if clubs were afraid of the threat from Saudi then they should not have sold them their players. A number of Premier League clubs have done so including Liverpool, Manchester City, Fulham and Wolverhampton Wanderers. The biggest fee realised was for PSG who sold Neymar to Al-Hilal for €90 million.

Al-Khelaifi, a Qatar national, who is also the chairman of the Qatari broadcast giant beIN Sports, said that it would be “extremely difficult” for the SPL to break into Uefa competition regardless of the players at their disposal. “Because today we are trying to develop and grow … let more European clubs participate in European competition. The smaller and medium sized clubs want that.

“I don’t see there are other clubs coming from outside to Europe. Listen, I don’t know what is going to happen in a few years but today I don’t see that anyone from outside will play here. If there is a Super Cup or something, why not? But to play in Europe in a competition, if you are not a European - you know better than me – I do not see.”

The biggest clubs in Europe announced an agreement with Uefa over the sharing of revenue for the next three seasons, with the ECA promising 10 per cent of the annual €4.4 billion in broadcast and commercial income would be paid to non-participating clubs. Al-Khelaifi was at the centre of those negotiations with Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin.

One of the key discussion topics at the ECA was Saudi influence, and the uncertainty European clubs have that fees will be paid. Qatar’s tense relationship with its Gulf neighbour Saudi will be played out in the Champions League group stages this autumn. Newcastle, owned by a consortium led by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), will face PSG, owned by Qatar Sports Investments.

It will be the latest demonstration of the two fossil fuel-rich nations’ soft power on the global stage. Asked about the legacy of the beIN Sports piracy by Saudi, Al-Khelaifi claimed he was “not a politician” although as he well knows, his job is all about sitting at the centre of the politics of the biggest sport in the world. “I am not a politician. I am [about] sport,” he said. “Football for me brings people together. I am so proud and happy to play against this Newcastle home and away, all together with our clubs. This is football.”

Asked about the potential for global financial fair play regulations, Al-Khelaifi said the question had to be addressed to Fifa. “My role is that we focus more on Europe … and the European club sustainability,” he said. “But, listen, most of the clubs sold their players to them [SPL]. So if we are not happy why do we sell our players to them? That’s the truth.

“Is it dangerous [the threat to European football dominance]? If you ask the clubs, some of them say, ‘Yes’. Some of them say ‘No’. Some of them are happy, some of them unhappy. I told you my opinion. If there is danger the European clubs will not be quiet. So far I don’t see any danger.”

Al-Khelaifi said he backed the new Fifa Club World Cup which will launch in 2025 with 32 teams as a summer tournament – seen as a direct rival to Uefa for global broadcast revenue. He also claimed that he would welcome back Real Madrid and Barcelona, the only two remaining European Super League rebels. Neither are currently ECA members. The third, Juventus left this year. “Now there are only two,” Al-Khelaifi said. “Every six months there is one fewer. They are going slowly but in the right way.”

For many clubs across Europe, depressed television revenue for domestic leagues means their only growth is in player trading or increased revenue from European competition. Celtic chairman Peter Lawwell, a member of the ECA board, said that his club’s broadcast earnings were £3 million annually, compared to £140 million – including parachute payments - for the 20th placed Premier League team.

Al-Khelaifi said that clubs would be amenable to a salary cap. “If you ask all the clubs here nobody wants to lose money – no-one from biggest to smallest,” he said. “If we can legally come to a way that rules will allow us, everyone will support it. Definitely. No-one will say no. This is what we want. But is it legal? Can we do it? I don’t know but everyone will want to make money, not to lose money.