UEFA Champions League proposals branded ‘youthful daydreams’ by a group of supporters
A group of European football fans have urged UEFA and club leaders to roll back some of the changes to the Champions League planned for 2024, and called other ideas “boyish daydreams”.
The UEFA-recognised Football Supporters Europe (FSE) group has stepped up its opposition ahead of upcoming meetings involving the European Club Association and UEFA.
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Proposals were agreed last year to use the historic club record in European competitions to award two Champions League entries in 2024, as it would increase to 36 teams playing 10 games each instead of six.
But UEFA struck the deal with club bosses as they plotted to launch the quickly flopped Super League project, and the details were open to review.
The FSE fan group now wants those details – historic ‘coefficient’ entries and 10 guaranteed matches – canceled on Tuesday after the club competitions committee and UEFA executive committee met in Vienna, Austria .
“Ultimately, your decision will shape the game for a generation that will impact every league, club, player and supporter in Europe,” FSE said in a statement targeting UEFA and ECA officials. .
The 250-member ECA, whose board meets in Madrid on Monday, and UEFA have not officially commented on talks that could lead to decisions on Tuesday.
Champions League entries are expected to be worth tens of millions of euros for each participating club with predictions of around 40% increase in total revenue for UEFA’s club competitions from 2024.
Fans fear that Champions League money will further widen the gaps in wealth and competitive balance in European football, reduce interest in domestic leagues and add costs in time and money to fans follow their team.
The group of 30 European league nations and fans have consistently said that additional Champions League entries should instead go to title winners in the mid-tier domestic leagues.
Opposition to the agreed changes was joined on behalf of “middle class” clubs by Eintracht Frankfurt, who last week qualified for the Europa League final against Rangers. The winner gets a place in the Champions League.
UEFA also considered doing away with the traditional two-legged semi-finals in favor of a Final Four-style mini-tournament of single matches in a host city or region.
The FSE dismissed ideas such as “the youthful musings of extended halftime shows, week-long finals, and similar Super Bowl imitations.”