Uefa president Aleksander Čeferin has reaffirmed his opposition to a breakaway “European Super League” while committing to reform European club competitions after he was re-elected unopposed at Uefa’s annual Congress in Rome yesterday.
Čeferin said there would be “no ‘Super League’” while he led Uefa and while Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli was at the helm of the European Club Association (ECA). The two organisations strengthened their ties by signing a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Congress.
“We will work hand in hand with our partner, the European Club Association (ECA), to design the club competitions of the future,” Čeferin told delegates. “Club competitions that are in keeping with the times, full of excitement and intensity and open, which will bring a new dimension to European football.”
Because there is a history of Europe’s largest clubs using the threat of a breakaway to secure greater commercial concessions from Uefa, there will be some speculation about what the redesigns will consist of.
Although Čeferin did not give any details, several large clubs from the European mainland are believed to be calling for an expanded Champions League and fewer domestic games to close the commercial gap on their rivals in the English Premier League. SportBusiness understands the same clubs are agitating for more Champions League games on weekends which would enable the competition to introduce split kick off times and thereby generate larger media revenues from overseas markets.
Such a move would be highly controversial, creating scheduling and logistical conflicts with domestic leagues around Europe, and would be unlikely to happen until current commercial agreements expire.
Uefa robustly denied the allegation when the Football Leaks investigation suggested weekend Champions League matches were an option late last year. “Uefa – and it’s president – have never even discussed playing Uefa Champions League matches on weekends,” it said.