The intention of UEFA, supported by the major European clubs, to change the format of the Champions from 2024 to turn it into a practically closed competition has triggered a battle with the European Association of Professional Leagues (AELP) that in the last week it has intensified. The plan goes through a European Super League of 32 teams divided into four groups of eight. Only the last of each group would descend and the losers of a repechage between the sixth and seventh. The eight descendants would be replaced by the four semi-finalists of the Europa League and four league champions who won a preliminary qualifying phase. UEFA met Tuesday in Nyon (Switzerland) with the main clubs behind the new project.
With this design of the new competition, UEFA and the most powerful clubs, grouped as the leaders of the ECA, intend to raise their income by selling the television rights of a tournament designed on the axiom formulated by the greats: the more Sometimes they face each other more money they can enter. This view is rejected by the leagues, which see their competitions in jeopardy if they do not grant the places to play the new Champions and if it crystallizes that, in addition, the parties occupy the weekends. Since the intentions of UEFA and the ECA were known, the confrontation has gone on.
The intervention in Nyon, on Wednesday May 8, Ceferin before the representatives of the leagues greatly increased the conflict. Ceferin undertook a defense of the ECA positions. Faced with the fervent opposition of the leagues, who think that Ceferin has deceived them by referring to the new format as an embryonic idea to be defined, he argued that clubs like Madrid, Barça, Manchester United, Juventus and Bayern enter a lot of money , but they also generate it thanks to their results. At times, the tone of the president of European football was tense and threatening. According to the AP agency, which obtained a recording of the appointment, the mandamás called populist the speech of the AELP to charge against the rich and warned: "The more complaints there are, the less consultation processes there will be".
The distribution of money
Ceferin tried to establish himself as a democratic president who committed himself to his arrival to submit to consultation between all the actors of football major decisions. He also ran as the defender of UEFA's values as a redistributive body between federations and clubs of the second and third wagon of wealth generated by football. This face that tried to transmit is very questioned among the main representatives of the European leagues, among which is Javier Tebas, president of LaLiga. He maintained another confrontation at the meeting with Luis Rubiales, president of the Spanish Federation and member of the UEFA Executive Committee. Rubiales accused Thebes of having paid money in black and of having charged commissions. Ceferin, in his speech, also seemed to point directly to the president of the Spanish employers' association, saying that he was willing to dialogue with those who really are interested in the general good and not only those who defend personal interests.
The general feeling of the Association of Leagues is that Ceferin has been thrown into the arms of Andrea Agnelli, president of Juventus, Karl-Heiz Rummenigge (Bayern), Al-Khelaifi (PSG) and Florentino Perez (Real Madrid). Some federations, such as the French one, threaten not to grant licenses to participate in the new competition, and others consider denouncing the plan before the European Union for violating the competition laws of the market.
They also believe that the UEFA consultations respond to the plan to create this new elitist competition was unveiled ahead of time and that this has put the European body in a difficult alley of exit. "It is important to remember that no decision has been made. We only have ideas and opinions, "Ceferin said in a statement after the meeting with the May 8 leagues. Soon, the New York Times unveiled documents that show that the new Champions is something more than a sketch.
As revealed by the New York Timesand has confirmed this newspaper, Manchester City runs serious risks of being out of the next Champions League. The UEFA Chamber of Inquiry has proposed a one-year penalty for the recent Premier League champion for submitting allegedly false documentation to justify his earnings in 2014. In that year, both the English club and Paris Saint Germain came to an agreement with UEFA not to be sanctioned despite having broken the financial fair play. At that time, the tool of economic control over the clubs was newly implanted and UEFA opted for these political agreements that were also applied to other teams of smaller entity than those mentioned.
The accusation against the City centers on the fact that he submitted false documents to justify his accounts with UEFA in the aforementioned 2014 and this would have allowed him to reach an agreement for which he paid a fine of 60 million euros and had to limit his expenses in transfers and the number of chips to 21 during two seasons. The English club denied this Tuesday in a statement that has broken the financial fair play.
According to consulted legal sources, once the Investigation Chamber has transferred the proposal of sanction to the Adjudication of the Financial Control Committee, this body must decide in a month approximately. If you confirm the proposed sanction, the City will still have the recourse to go to the Court of Arbitration Sports of Lausanne (TAS), which is normal to rule before the group stage of the Champions League is drawn.
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