Proposed plans for a breakaway European Super League are “fiction” – consistent with the 2 maximum robust officers in European soccer.
Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin and Andrea Agnelli, the chairman of the influential European Club Association (ECA) which represents over 200 main groups, say they’re “united” – in spite of just lately leaked paperwork claiming secret talks were held over the introduction of a new elite league.
“The Super League will not happen. It is in a way a fiction now or a dream,” mentioned Ceferin.
Agnelli, who is additionally chairman of Juventus – probably the most groups reported to be a possible founding member of the Super League – added: “I will verify we’ve by no means observed, by no means mentioned, by no means been concerned within the introduction of this record.
“We are absolutely engaged with Uefa in shaping the sport going ahead.”
Speaking solely to BBC Sport, Ceferin and Agnelli additionally defined:
- Their plans to reform European soccer from 2024 onwards.
- How a revised soccer calendar may see much less home soccer and extra European ties performed.
- Why qualification for Europe will have to now not simply be for the elite.
Will there be a breakaway?
German e-newsletter Der Speigel claims to have paperwork which display a new Super League might be up and operating by way of 2021 – that includes the largest clubs from Spain, Italy, Germany, England and France.
However, Ceferin and Agnelli are adamant that the highest clubs will keep inside Uefa and that detailed talks are below method to in finding “answers” – together with adjustments to the structure of the Champions League to protected a extra profitable broadcasting deal.
“We have some concepts. All I will say is that any Super League is out of the query. Participation remains. And everyone can have a chance to compete in each and every European pageant,” mentioned Ceferin.
So what does it imply for European competitions?
A brand new 3rd European pageant with 32 groups can be rubber-stamped at a Uefa assembly in Dublin early subsequent month.
So with the Champions League, Europa League and the brand new 3rd contest, a overall of 96 groups will compete as soon as pre-qualifying is finished.
Cerefin says it is going to be the “starting of wider European pageant”, and that clubs and national associations “admire it”.
Referencing the likes of Celtic, Porto, Benfica, Ajax and Anderlecht, Agnelli added: “It can be our responsibility to safeguard the nice heritages of European soccer however at the different aspect I believe we’re rather well mindful that we need to safeguard markets, we need to take into accounts upcoming markets.
“We have to think about Poland. We have to think about [countries like] Turkey, we have to think about Russia. Fans can rest assured that if we put our hands to making a new product it’s because we want to make sure that fans across Europe engage.”
Will the wealthy simply get richer?
Both males reject the advice that the dominance of Europe’s most sensible groups is being bolstered by way of those new pageant buildings.
“The dogma of the dream has to stay alive, because it is the foundation of European sports,” says Agnelli.
Ceferin says: “Unfortunately on the earth repeatedly it occurs that the wealthy grow to be richer. I believe we’re probably the most uncommon organisations on the earth that tackles this downside.
“We know that we need to gradual the space [between rich clubs and the rest] as a result of almost definitely it is going to be laborious to forestall totally.
“And I am not positive if we need to have everybody equivalent with out intervention. I believe that would not be the appropriate method as a result of in case you are doing a excellent activity, you might be operating a lot, seeking to do one thing, it’s important to be rewarded for that.
“But ‘know your home’ is now not honest to say. You need to compete, it’s important to have effects to qualify for the highest pageant. If you wouldn’t have effects it could be a unusual pageant. You make a decision it by way of recreation effects, it is the handiest manner.”
Why do they suspect exchange is wanted?
Nothing will in truth exchange sooner than 2024 when the prevailing pageant preparations expire.
Agnelli says the purpose is for each and every membership to extend their world publicity thru extra European ties – whilst Cerefin says they’re “looking for a resolution in combination”.
“The highest platforms can handiest come thru world competitions and that is why expanding participation expanding inclusion it is key to all people,” he added.
“Now probably the most related video games are the highest of the ladder video games. If you take a look at the Champions League ultimate compared to the Super Bowl it beats it by way of a issue of one.five to at least one.
“So the spectators of that game are on a global scale. We have to build on that to make sure we have the resources to allocate throughout Europe to allow every single club, in every single European country, to have a proper international platform.”
Does that imply much less home soccer then?
Both males declined to offer explicit element at the possible adjustments to European soccer, given the continued negotiations with clubs, leagues and associations.
But if European fixtures build up then an already packed soccer calendar will want complete revision.
The ECA desires to look the world confederation tournaments, such because the European Championships and Afcon, all performed in the summertime of the similar yr. Guaranteed relaxation classes for gamers is additionally top at the time table.
And Agnelli’s thought for a “rebalancing” of European video games over home video games is more likely to reason some controversy – despite the fact that each officers have been willing to indicate that they’re merely at an “idea stage”.
“Evidently if you want to have an overall rebalancing of European football and more international [European] football, all that would have to go hand in hand with a reduction of domestic games,” says Agnelli.
“But most significantly it is harmonising. Today you’re taking England, for instance, that has two nationwide cups. A group doubtlessly performs 53 home video games.
“Then you’re taking Germany the place the utmost choice of video games is 43 as a result of there are two fewer groups within the league and there is just one cup. So that is 10 video games distinction. Is it logical?
“There’s a whole system of anomalies that have to be addressed. It might mean in certain leagues increasing the amount of games. It’s not just about reducing, it’s about making it a level playing field, which is very important.”
Ceferin and Agnelli will go back and forth to Brussels on Tuesday to fulfill the European Commissioner for Sport, Tibor Navracsics.
Cerefin mentioned: “We need to display that our imaginative and prescient of the way forward for soccer is, let’s say, an identical. It’s now not totally the similar. We [Uefa and the ECA] have some disagreements once in a while however we firmly consider within the European sports activities type in combination.
“We suppose that the European soccer can pass additional provided that we keep in combination, unified. If you wish to have to expand soccer it’s important to keep in combination.
“Europe has problems with unity these days – and football, as one of the biggest powers, should lead this unity. That’s our opinion.”