On July 11 and 12, the Court of Justice of the European Union will examine the dispute between UEFA and the promoters of the Super League. The challenge: to determine whether the European body has violated the rules of free competition by opposing the creation of competition. At the same time, Aleksander Ceferin will no doubt be thinking about his new Champions League format and his hope of boosting TV rights, whose French candidates were invited to appear this Wednesday for the 2024-2027 period. A format which, ironically, is perhaps not so far removed from the Super League project which he described as “a spit in the face of all football lovers”.
Open doors “
From the 2024-2025 season, matches do you want some from September to May (189 against 125 currently), and not a single month without the Champions League, the irreducible January having fallen in battle. “Having more clubs and more games is not the Super League. The Super League is to always have the same clubs playing with each other, ”he defended himself in the columns of The Team.
“In the current formula, in the group stage, we know which clubs will qualify after two or three games. From 2024, it will not be so easy, even for the “big” clubs,” Ceferin added. the first phase will mechanically last longer – since there will be more encounters.
“I don’t believe the Champions League is a Super League in disguise. What must be remembered, by having a global vision, is that everyone can participate”, argues with 20 minutes Daniel Rommedahl, director of football at FC Copenhagen and member of the ECA board. Not false.
“I find that it opens things up a little more, it leaves more possibilities and more games at stake. Today, some groups are already played before the fifth or sixth day. This is less likely to happen in the future because every position matters. It will be more dynamic”, develops the Dane. His club will have an additional chance to advance to the first phase in the future as one of the four additional tickets will go to a national champion via the ‘champions path’ of qualifying. But will the “little ones” really be better considered?
We said see you in 2024
For Dominique Cordier, information director of News Tank Football, the new format will not change much since the big guys will continue to share the big slices of the cake: “Since 2004, with the exception of PSG, all the finalists of the Champions League are divided between four countries (England, Germany, Italy and Spain). Over the next ten years, I think it will continue, unless there is a surprise, which will only confirm the rule. »
“UEFA are constantly on the defensive, they have their backs to the wall against the threat of the creation of other competitions, so they have to make concessions. The big clubs want to be there no matter what, every year, and play amongst themselves. UEFA is constantly retreating, that’s why it created the Champions League in 1992, then changed the formats, continues our interlocutor. In this balance, we give more to the big clubs and to keep it politically playable, we give some rewards to the small clubs. That’s why we created the Europa League Conference. »
And an “opening tournament” in addition…
Two weeks ago, The Team revealed that UEFA intended to organize an “opening tournament” each year between four top names from the continent in mid-August, “probably in the United States”. A version upgraded pre-season tournaments, where the big fish will still be highlighted, to fill the coffers a little more. Anecdotal in the Champions League package new lookbut revealing.
“The big clubs are happy, many clubs in our segment are too,” continues Rommedahl. I think it’s going in the right direction. Now, that’s on paper. We’ll see what happens in 2024. There, we can judge if it’s a good thing, but I really think it’s a better option. ” At what price…
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