According to The New York Times, leaked UEFA documents show proposed Champions League reforms would turn it into a calcified SuperLeague.
UEFA have so far resisted the plans for a breakaway SuperLeague and offered to change the format of the existing Champions League in order to prevent those clubs creating a rival tournament.
However, the leaked proposals seem to suggest it’s not a world away from that ideal, cutting out most European clubs and with minimal risk of relegation.
“If approved, it would calcify the Champions League into a competition dominated by a small group of elite clubs, and leave as few as four of its 32 places available for teams from Europe’s 55 national leagues,” claims The New York Times.
“The new tournaments would, starting in 2024, allow the top 21 teams in a 32-team Champions League to qualify automatically for the next season’s event, effectively guaranteeing them annual participation and tens of millions of dollars more in broadcasting revenue than their domestic rivals.
“Those rivals would most likely be unable to match the rich clubs’ spending power, and would find it prohibitively difficult to play their way into the Champions League on the field.
“The biggest clubs, notably those from Spain and Italy, are pushing the proposals the hardest, according to people familiar with the discussions. They argue the changes are needed to provide more fiscal certainty year after year.
“UEFA has been in talks about proposals for months with the European Club Association, a group that is led by Juventus’s chairman, Andrea Agnelli, and that is driving the campaign for an elite competition.”
La Liga President Javier Tebas claimed after the UEFA presentation that they were being railroaded into a SuperLeague.
“We cannot accept that these are just plans and proposals for an open discussion with stakeholders about the future of professional football,” Tebas told The Times. “In reality, we were presented with a concrete project developed by UEFA in full cooperation with a small group of rich and powerful European clubs to reform European club competitions after 2024 in a format that could destroy domestic competitions and the sporting and financial sustainability of the vast majority of clubs in Europe.
“We are open for a constructive dialogue to reform European football together with other stakeholders, but if this is the project on the table, then the margins for negotiations are very limited.”