New Champions League plans are just like European Super League proposals

promise promise.

According to President Aleksander Ceferin, Uefa could be counted on to ever prevent something like the European Super League.

Aleksander Ceferin's Champions League plans are designed to keep the big clubs at the top - just like the European Super League


Aleksander Ceferin’s Champions League plans are designed to keep the big clubs at the top – just like the European Super LeaguePhoto credit: Reuters

His exact words were, “Teams will always qualify and enter our competitions on merit, not in a closed shop run by a select few.”

Now, in a Putin-like about-face, he is unveiling a scheme whereby two teams with historic records would be admitted to the Champions League in two years without qualifying through a top finish in domestic competition.

Regardless of how the argument is disguised, the fact is that he and a group called the European Club Association nod to a rich boys’ club that doesn’t like the idea of ​​fair competition at home and doesn’t leave them a ticket to more big money abroad.

Those dollars will get bigger.

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Uefa intends to add four clubs to the original 32 clubs and turn the first round of their inaugural competition into a single table with ten draws for each club.

What we haven’t been told is how the opponents will be chosen – not pulled out of a hat, you can be sure of that.

My deepest suspicion is that a ranking system is being fixed to further increase the chances of the continent’s aristocrats reaching the knockout stages of 16 clubs.

The professionals have to wait another season.

If Ceferin thinks all is fair in love and football, then I guarantee everyone but Falling Giants supporters not. Their failures are the result of their own inadequacies, and in the meantime, better-managed, ambitious clubs are sidelined.

In Ceferin’s system, a club finishing fifth in the Premier League, for example, could be left out in favor of another finishing sixth or even seventh.
I make this a protection racket and it has no place anywhere, let alone in competitive sports.

When competition is corrupted by money, as boxing once was, public interest dwindles.

Football is miles from being fixed, but even a whiff of off-stage deals is enough to raise doubts.

In three of the last five seasons, Arsenal would have qualified for the Champions League without ever finishing fourth in the league under Ceferin’s suggestions.

This would be a perfect result for Uefa planners, but hardly for a number of teams in other countries who have better competitive aspirations but don’t draw the crowds or, most importantly, TV networks’ appetites.

English football is watched with enthusiasm around the world. The reasons for such support are obvious. Our teams are made up of internationally known players who value their work and salary.

In general, they play fun, exciting football and know that winning the Premier League is a prize of great value.

And also a word on championship. It draws the game’s third-highest attendance and it’s no wonder, as effort and excitement buzz through every game.

It also has a promotion and relegation system that is understandable for children as young as six or seven. However, not in the future.

For all of us, the Uefa plan to be examined shortly is so complicated that its proud claim of ‘a coefficient based on historical performance’ dulls my heart and mind.

A year ago, Ceferin also commented: “Our game has become the greatest sport in the world based on open competition, integrity and sporting merit and we cannot and will not allow that to change. Never.”

So much for promises. New Champions League plans are just like European Super League proposals


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