September 6 – The new boss of Europe’s top clubs is expecting “no more soap operas” when it comes to Champions League allocation and has played down all talk of a breakaway super league under his leadership.
Elected Tuesday to chair the 220-member European Club Association in succession to Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Juventus president Andrea Agnelli said he anticipated a period of stability following recent controversial changes imposed by UEFA.
Last year UEFA announced significant changes to the competition for the 2018-21 Champions League cycle, rearranging the group-stage slots in favour of the four top-ranked leagues – in effect Spain, England, Germany and Italy – at the expense of the smaller ones.
This initially riled some of the less affluent leagues but Agnelli says his own members are happy with the position.
“I am comfortable in stating that the majority is in favour of the Champions League as it is, and also for the 21-24 cycle, and that will give it some stability going forward,” said Agnelli. “We are not expecting a soap opera going forward.”
Agnelli says he has “very, very good” relations with both UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino. Later this month, he takes up his new role as a member of the UEFA executive committee when he will have full voting rights.
Although he adopted a conciliatory stance at his first media briefing as ECA chief, Agnelli was critical of FIFA’s Club World Cup featuring the winners of each confederation’s main club competition.
“As it stands, the format of the FIFA Club World Cup is useless,” Agnelli said.
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