European Club Association MD pushes need to reform European club football

Reform of European club football competitions could be necessary to restore dynamism to Europe’s most-loved tournaments, according to European Club Association managing director Charlie Marshall.

Speaking at the SportBusiness Decision Makers Summit in London, Marshall, said structural changes in the football industry could make reform of European competitions inevitable, but played down fears that this would impact national leagues.

“I think we are in a pretty parlous situation if we believe that this is it for the commercialisation of football,” said Marshall, “that these are the best products we are ever going to have, and from now on it’s just a matter of shifting money around.

“If we’d have said that 10 to 15 years ago, we’d have a lot of egg on our faces right now.”

Marshall went on to describe some of the structural changes that football is facing, and the “reality check” that comes with them.

“Structural change is long coming for premium sports. It has affected every other media sector that doesn’t have the same barrier to entry as live sports, and that structural change is coming.

“When we look at economic changes, the boom in OTT, convergence and confusion in market, those are signals of structural changes.

“For sure, there will be changes in the monetisation model [of football], but let’s face that together as an industry, rather than as competitors between one other.”