European Leagues to discuss club competition plans with Uefa, ECA

European Leagues, which represents football leagues from across Europe, has today (Friday) said that it will meet with Uefa and the European Club Association next month to discuss potential changes to club competitions.

It comes as the English Premier League issued a statement outlining its clubs’ “significant concerns” regarding reported proposals for changing the format and qualification criteria of Uefa club competitions from 2024 onwards.

Earlier in the week, European Leagues, which counts 35 professional leagues across the continent as members, said it would not allow Uefa to play club fixtures on weekends and rejected the idea that bigger clubs might be guaranteed places in European competitions.

Uefa has held preliminary discussions with the ECA regarding changes to its competitions post-2024 and there have been rumours that the sport’s European governing body is planning on introducing promotion and relegation in the Champions League and more fixtures at weekends – moves that would undermine domestic leagues.

In a press conference today, European Leagues addressed its concerns about the possible changes, with president Lars-Christer Olsson stating that its main objective is “to safeguard the domestic competitions and to protect the domestic competitions if needed.”

Olsson said: “I hope that this meeting at the beginning of May, as I said before, is the first meeting of several where we can have a proper way of discussing and getting our different opinions to clash to find new solutions which I think Uefa, the clubs and the European Leagues and our members can live with.”

He added: “We have to make the views of the European leagues known to everybody. Not only those who are stakeholders in football, but for example our fans and the public so that everybody who is interested in football will know what is going on and how we are preparing for the future club competitions.”

The Premier League, meanwhile, has also sought to protect its own position, stating today that all clubs unanimously agreed that it would be “inappropriate” for European bodies to create plans that would alter the domestic calendar in England.

The Premier League added: “The structures of domestic football are determined by leagues and their respective national associations. We will now work with the FA and other leagues to ensure that European football bodies understand the importance of this, and their obligation to maintain the health and sustainability of domestic league football.”