Now French league expresses concerns over Champions League revamp
The LFP, the French professional soccer league, has joined England’s Premier League and Spain’s LaLiga in voicing opposition to proposals for the restructuring of the Uefa Champions League.
The French league is to hold a general meeting in the near future to adopt a formal position on the plans.
In recent weeks there have been reports that Uefa is considering changing the format of the Champions League in 2024, with the possibility of guaranteed places for elite clubs, and more matches for the participants.
The Uefa reform project was discussed at a meeting of the LFP board today, after which the French league issued a statement that read: “The LFP board expressed its concerns about this project which threatens sporting and competitive balance between European and domestic competitions.
“The LFP board agreed to gather an extraordinary General Meeting, in the coming weeks, to establish the official position of clubs and stakeholders of French professional football concerning this reform project.”
It is thought that calls for a revamp of the Champions League are being led by the European Club Association headed up by Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli, but Uefa has sought to play down concerns over a revamp saying that a meeting it had with the ECA last month was merely “an informal brainstorming session to allow for an initial sharing of ideas and exchange of views around Uefa Club Competitions post-2024.”
Nonethless, the 20 Premier League clubs issued a statement last week in which they claimed it was “inappropriate for European football bodies to create plans that would alter the structures, calendar and competitiveness of the domestic game,” and pledged to work together to protect the league, with the support of England’s Football Association and other European leagues.
Javier Tebas, the outspoken and influential president of Spain’s LaLiga, had earlier penned an article accusing Uefa and the ECA of “working together to create a SuperChampions League without taking into consideration the domestic leagues.”
He claimed that giving the big clubs guaranteed places in the Champions League would destroy soccer’s competitive model, and claimed that there were plans to play European club matches on weekends currently reserved for domestic leagues.
Uefa scornfully dismissed the article, reiterating a claim that Tebas was simply mistaken and misinformed in the concerns he has raised, while Agnelli denied there were any plans to move Champions League matches to the weekend.
The European Leagues body has called a meeting of its Club Advisory Platform on 6 and 7 May in Madrid to which all European professional clubs are invited to discuss the development of the continental club competitions in the post-2024 era.
This will precede a meeting of the European Leagues' board of directors and the Uefa executive committee in Nyon on 8 May to discuss a framework for future competition cycles.
European Leagues chairman Lars-Christer Olsson said last week: “Our main objective is to safeguard the domestic competitions and protect them if needed. We think the most important competitions in football are the domestic competitions.”
He added: “We are going to discuss with the clubs how they would like to see the development of club football in the future.”
Pressed on whether the leagues were presenting a common front, Olsson said: “The leagues are totally unanimous on what we would like to discuss and how we would like the competitions to develop.”
• Uefa has today launched a licensing rights sales process for eyewear products for the Champions League and Europa League in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.
The category includes, but is not limited to, prescription glasses, sunglasses, eyewear frames and eyewear accessories.
The process is being overseen by Team Marketing, Uefa’s exclusive marketing agency for the exploitation of selected media and commercial rights for the men’s club competitions, and interested parties seeking further information are directed to email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Federico Bobbio, licensing manager at Team, on +41 78 248 9805, no later than 25 April, 2019.
Prospective bidders are requested to include in their email a company profile presentation, details of any similar licences held and examples of other licensed products currently developed.