According to a sports news channel, clubs from the European continent may come closer to found a new club competition. The new league could start in 2022, and would replace the current Champions League.
ENGLISHMEN HEAD THE PROJECT
According to Sky Sports, the English sides of Manchester United and Liverpool would be leading the project to change the course of football.
Both would have started a negotiation process with FIFA (and not UEFA), for the creation of a new league: The “Europe’s Premier League”. It is a model on which the clubs understand that it could generate a huge level of competitiveness amongst the biggest clubs in the world.
Both Manchester United and Liverpool have recently tried a change in the English Premier League model. The project baptized as “Big Picture”, would have as proposals the reduction of the number of clubs in the Premier League from 20 to 18, the increase in revenues of the country’s first and second divisions, and the extinction of England’s League Cup and Super Cup.
Amongst other changes, the creation of a women’s league, bigger valuation of clubs that are longest in the elite of English football, and also the extinction of the voting model for changes in terms of regulations, giving more autonomy to the big clubs.
The Premier League has positioned itself in the opposite direction, as has the British government, vetoing any kind of change at this time.
Both, then, appealed to FIFA, trying in some way to elitize the competitions. Now the idea is to leave a club’s competition more restricted to the major powerhouses.
HOW THE NEW LEAGUE WOULD WORK
Knowing already of a previous negative answer from UEFA, it was obvious that the clubs would meet among themselves and take a proposal to FIFA.
England’s BBC channel stated that FIFA would be behind the organization, and the intention was to replace the current Champions League. The format of the new competition would be a mix of round-robin system and playoffs.
Initially, the idea is to have 18 clubs (the biggest of each country), and form a tournament, running in parallel with the national leagues.
In this scenario, the tournament would have a home and away format, in a round-robin system, and at the end of the qualifiers, a brief knockout to decide the champion.
MILLIONAIRE PROJECT THAT WILL FIND RESISTANCE
According to Sky Sports, the American bank JP Morgan would enter in the negotiations to finance this project. The report indicates that a figure that would exceed the $6 billion mark would be injected to take the competition out of the paper.
Sky News highlighted that the champion would receive millions of pounds, which would even be a higher prize than the Champions League.
UEFA states that this project is a threat to the current model of club competitions in Europe, and has vehemently opposed to the creation of this new league.
The channels covering this new project also state that sources say that clubs can use this possible new tournament as a weapon to renegotiate UEFA’s own participation and award payments in the Champions League.
This tournament between giants, aims at a detachment between the largest clubs on the continent and the rest of the entities. This means that if this project really comes out of the paper, the biggest powerhouses will get even richer, and the technical and financial gap will be even bigger in comparison to the remaining teams.
Obviously that, if this tournament happens, a large financial contribution would be a reality. Still, with the biggest football brands involved, big values in terms of broadcasts and sponsorships would be collected.
Although it is a temptation to see a competition with only the biggest clubs in the world involved, for European and world football, it would be a small disaster.
Let’s imagine that the Champions League would really get extinct, or for instance, lose its strength. How would the average clubs react, the ones who need the visibility and prize collection in order to stay active?
A league of this size, even if it happened in parallel to the Champions League, would bring negative consequences, since in a way, the clubs would prioritize the competition of higher prizing.
The calendar wouldn’t support so many competitions, and the clubs would leave aside the old tournament. Such a big elitization is dangerous, and would end up diminishing the competitiveness of the remaining clubs, prioritizing a rich minority. Finally, I don’t believe this will come out of the paper.