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Champions League is changing?

Discussion in 'The Football Forum' started by the count, May 15, 2019.

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  1. the count

    the count SCM's least favourite muppet Honorary Member

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    By Tariq Panja
    • May 9, 2019
    It was the rarest of feats in modern European soccer: Ajax Amsterdam, a proud club from the Dutch league, battling its way past giants like Real Madrid and Juventus to the cusp of a place in the Champions League final.
    Ajax’s journey, which began in the summer qualifying rounds and was ended by an injury-time goal in the semifinals on Wednesday, was the kind of puncher’s chance that every small club dreams of in the Champions League. But it is unlikely to be repeated if concrete proposals for the future of European soccer drawn up by the continent’s governing body and its richest clubs come to fruition.
    While officials from the continent’s biggest clubs and UEFA, which governs the sport in Europe and organizes the Champions League, have suggested that there is a suite of options on the table, documents obtained by The New York Times outline only one developed plan. 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 leagues in Europe’s 55 national federations.
    Discussions over the proposed changes have proved divisive, pitting national leagues — led by England’s Premier League, La Liga in Spain and competitions in Germany and France — against some of their own members. But the documents reviewed by The Times, the product of a project that appears to have been in the works for more than a year, present a more formidable threat to domestic leagues and most clubs than previously known.

    If approved, they would result in a Champions League that could render national competitions nearly irrelevant, impose significant barriers to entry for teams outside the game’s current elite and deepen the divide between the two dozen richest clubs and the hundreds of others that make up the bulk of the European game.
    Officials from the domestic leagues were shown the proposal for restructured European competitions this week. The new tournaments would, starting in 2024, allow the top 24 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 would receive. 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 that 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 is driving the campaign for an elite competition. UEFA belatedly met with representatives of Europe’s leagues on Wednesday. After the meeting, Aleksander Ceferin, the UEFA president, said, “At the moment we have only ideas and opinions.”

    Some leaders of European leagues who were present did not accept that description, pointing out that only one proposal had been presented — a formal one with charts and graphics that was created without input from the leagues. The Spanish league president Javier Tebas, a vocal critic of the plans, said after the meeting that the plans were so developed that there appeared to be little room for negotiation.

      
    “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.”
    While the Champions League’s main competition will continue to be the 32-team event it is today, UEFA envisages substantial changes to its format to ensure a longer group stage in which teams would play in four groups of eight, with the top four teams qualifying for the knockout stages. Such a setup would create dozens more matchups of elite clubs to sell to broadcasters, with some perhaps on weekend dates that are traditionally reserved for domestic league play.
    Champions from lower-profile leagues like those in the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal and most of Eastern Europe, as well as elite-league clubs outside the top four or five spots in their domestic competitions, would be relegated to a 32-team second-tier competition and to a third division with 64 teams. Teams would be eligible to be promoted and relegated among the three divisions, but the financial resources available to those at the top could create a competitive advantage that might secure their places in the Champions League for the foreseeable future. Only four of the 32 places would be reserved for incoming clubs each season.
    Leaders of Europe’s domestic leagues fear the changes could reduce their competitions to fourth-tier afterthoughts behind the three European competitions, while small and medium-size clubs have expressed concern that their fans would no longer have the chance to dream of even competing against the continent’s biggest clubs for Europe’s biggest prizes.
    “The objective of football is to give happiness to fans, and to give happiness is to have a chance of winning,” said Bernard Caiazzo, the owner of the French team St.-Étienne.
    The uncertainty has already prevented some teams from securing outside investment, according to Caiazzo. His club, once a power in European competition, had been in talks with minority investors who have now cooled on buying a minority stake, he said.

    St.-Étienne has a storied past, having won 10 French championships during a heyday that ended with its last league title in 1981. In recent years, it has found itself among the also-rans in France’s Ligue 1, as first Lyon and now Paris St.-Germain — a club whose rise has been financed by seemingly endless infusions of cash from its Qatari owners — have dominated French soccer.
    He said he worried that the proposed Champions League overhaul would leave new owners with no reason to invest.
    “Of course, these investors, new investors, will consider if we close the system that of course they could suddenly be outside,” Caiazzo said.
     
  2. Hansern

    Hansern Part of the Furniture Member

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    Surely that wont get voted in and is confirmed. Its awful suggestion.
     
  3. Silver Sean

    Silver Sean Well-Known Member

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    Fixed it for you.

    Surely that will get voted in and is confirmed. Its awful suggestion.
     
  4. Mystic

    Mystic Moderator Moderator

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    You'd really hope not, but money and stability talks to business people, and the business people are the ones who make the decision.
     
  5. the count

    the count SCM's least favourite muppet Honorary Member

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    I'd say Uefa are caught in the middle, either push through something along these lines or else the "elite" clubs will break way and form their own European league
     
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  6. Athens

    Athens Greatest Bloke Ever [Citation Needed] Member

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    If there's a European league or something like this then I might give up on football altogether.
     
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  7. keniget

    keniget Part of the Furniture Member

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    What's going to change?

    The same 'ol clubs qualify each season anyways.

    You get the odd exception but by and large...
     
  8. Frogfish

    Frogfish Gone to Redcafe Member

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    Well it's the odd exception that makes it interesting ; Milan, United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Juventus and so on and so on, have all failed to qualify at times over the past decade.
     
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  9. Hansern

    Hansern Part of the Furniture Member

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    I know its not what the money hungry lizzards like to see, but Ajax getting to the semi final and nearly beating Spurs was a great and pleasant surprise this season. If the changes are enforced than qualifying as a smaller club gets nearly impossible.

    Relegated to the CL league C or whatever. Fuck right off.
     
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  10. FoxForceFive

    FoxForceFive Administrator Administrator

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    It's as much the financial impact on the clubs not in the CL that will have a medium to long term impact.

    Once this has been in for a few seasons the financial gap between those in the CL & those out will be bigger than ever & without little hope of changing.

    Although, if they started it the season city were banned so they never got in, ever, it'd be pretty funny for at least a while.
     
  11. moron

    moron i am legend Member

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    I actually like the current format, it gives a chance to everyone that can make it to a top 4 position, and to be honest the fortunes of various clubs changes - I never thought I would see Spurs participate in the CL on a consistent basis, even Everton managed to get in one season.  This new proposal is really nothing short of monarchy like.  Also after a while i am certain I would get bored of seeing us play Real Madrid, Barca, and Munich on a regular basis.  Playing a variety of teams makes it interesting and there is never a guarantee you will fuck these other teams over as we found out in our away fixtures in the group stages.
     
  12. Mystic

    Mystic Moderator Moderator

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    You'd have to think Sky and Co would push against this quite hard, lack of a top four race would be a massive miss for the league, it would effectively mean that by about February, that three or four of the best teams in the country would be playing for nothing, being to far away from the title race to even be considered. That's going to massively devalue the premier league.
     
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  13. peterhague

    peterhague Very Well-Known Member

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    I actually quite like the idea of some sort of superleague, but for an unusual reason: I'd really like to see clubs like Ajax, Celta, Benfica et al be able to compete properly over the long term. There must be at least a dozen teams im that boat.

    So if (very big if) they could do something like this, but also have a second and maybe even third tier competition below it, with promotion and relegation between the tiers, I think that'd be a brilliant solution.

    The domestic side of football could be retained via expanded cup competitions.
     
  14. King Binny

    King Binny Very Well-Known Honorary Member

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    Article: Outgoing Premier League chief Richard Scudamore has labelled them "out of order".

    Now, speaking on a conference call to United investors, Woodward has had his say.

    "First of all, I think this is partly driven by domestic leagues not necessarily thriving and there being a desire from the clubs that are towards the top of those leagues to play more European games,” explained Woodward.

    "There is a drive from UEFA, which is laudable, which is to try to give greater access to more teams.


    "So, if you look at the year just about to finish, 80 teams competed in the two competitions and the proposal for 2024 is 128 teams, so a greater than 50 per cent increase in the number of teams playing in Europe.

    "There are other factors as well, from our perspective we view these proposals as interesting but there's a lot of work to do with stakeholders to assess this.

    "We're doing that ourselves together with our colleagues in the Premier League and the ECA."

    Asked about a potential time-scale for changes to be further discussed and subsequently announced more formally, he added: "We can expect to hear more and more feedback on progress around this through 2019 and so therefore maybe clarity and somewhere around from six to nine months from now."
     
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