LaLiga, the governing body of Spanish football, has expressed its concern over Uefa’s plans to create a third club competition that will sit below the Champions League and Europa League.
Earlier this month, Uefa approved the creation of the competition for the 2021-2024 cycle, with the tournament having been given the working title of ‘UEL2’.
Similar to the Champions League, the tournament will feature 32 teams in eight groups of four. An additional knockout round will then be played after the group stages between teams that finish second in their groups and the third-ranked teams of the Europa League groups. A round-of-16 stage will then follow before quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final.
The plans have been met with discontent from LaLiga, which is leading a Europe-wide backlash against the competition. The national leagues in the Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland and Poland are also said to be opposed to the plans.
LaLiga president Javier Tebas said, according to The Independent: “While the European leagues have accepted the introduction of a third club competition, Uefa cannot make these decisions in isolation from the leagues that they affect.
“Europa League 2 will place greater demands on smaller clubs, who are the basis of healthy competition and the growth of European football, and risks creating a further divide within leagues of those who have lucrative European football and those who don’t.”
Tebas has also called for a review of the way revenue is distributed across Uefa club competitions.
“Through further dialogue, a more inclusive and democratic model of European competition can be created, that respects the economic stability and the competitive equilibrium of the national leagues,” he added. “This is one of the greatest challenges faced today across our continent and if it is not tackled decisively, it could have disastrous consequences in the long term.”