UEFA looks at moving Champions League fixtures to weekends, in efforts to fight off idea of a breakaway ‘Super League’ run by Europe’s elite clubs.
Are elite clubs running the show?
Right after sealing another four-year term (unopposed) as the president of UEFA (European football’s governing body), Aleksander Ceferin asserted his aim of ensuring the longevity and competitiveness of the Champions League.
The 51-year-old Slovenian intends to work closely with European Club Association (ECA) leader Andrea Agnelli (Juventus chairman) in preventing a scenario that would see elite clubs form a breakaway ‘Super League’ of their own that could effectively replace the Champions League, according to online sportsbook news.
“It’s not a promise, it’s a fact,” said the Slovenian. “Major clubs, if you had carried out your alleged plan, your clubs would have lost their status as ‘great clubs’ in the hearts of the people. The only thing ‘great’ about you would have been your past, and nothing else.”
“By respecting the football pyramid, the promotion and relegation system that lies at the heart of our sporting culture, results on the pitch, which sometimes differ from those in the account books, you remain great clubs in the world’s eyes.”
Having been formed in 2008 as a replacement for the G-14 (small number of top European clubs), the ECA represents the interests of clubs playing in UEFA competitions, which now amounts to over 100 teams.
The idea of staging Champions League matches on the weekends has been floated as a way to increase the attractiveness of the tournament, but any such move – if approved by UEFA and given the blessing by ECA as well – would not come into effect until 2021
VAR briefing saw only 5 managers attend
With Champions League football returning next week, all the hype is starting to build up about the first European games of 2019. Last Monday, UEFA held a meeting in which they discussed the intricacies of VAR; of all the competing clubs in the Champions League only five club managers attended the briefing, while others sent their assistants or deputies.
With the exception of Liverpool (who were playing West Ham that night), the only attendees at the meeting were: Massimiliano Allegri (Juventus), Bruno Genesio (Lyon), Thomas Tuchel (PSG), Eusebio Di Francesco (Roma) and Segio Conceicao (Porto), per online sportsbooks in EU.
As a response to the low turn-out, Ceferin said managers have no right to complain about VAR, as it demonstrated a clear “lack of respect for Roberto Rosetti (UEFA’s head of refereeing) and his team.”
“So no, they have no excuses anymore, especially the ones who did not attend,” stressed Ceferin.
Manchester City 4.50 (7/2) remain the main favourites to win the Champions League this season, while Barcelona 5.50 (9/2) are second in the running and Juventus 7.50 (13/2) are third favourites. Followed by PSG 8.00 (7/1), Liverpool 9.00 (8/1) and defending champions Real Madrid 13.00 (12/1).
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