November 20 – UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has made his most categoric statement to date against the idea of a European Super League.
Ahead of a meeting with the European Commission in Brussels which was being followed by a press conference, Ceferin told the BBC that an elite breakaway league was “fiction.”
Ceferin and Andrea Agnelli, chairman of the European Club Association that represents more than 200 top teams, have made their positions abundantly clear following recent reporting of a leaked document that revealed secret discussions over a possible new competition that would seriously undermine the Champions league.
“The Super League will not happen,” Ceferin said. “It is in a way a fiction now or a dream.”
Ironically Agnelli is also chairman of Juventus – one of the teams reported to be a potential founding member of the Super League.
But he insisted: “I can confirm we have never seen, never discussed, never been involved in the creation of this document. We are fully engaged with UEFA in shaping the game going forward.”
Meanwhile, a third European competition to run alongside the Champions league and Europa League is set to be confirmed at UEFA’s executive committee in early December.
“It will be our duty to safeguard the great heritages of European football, but on the other side I think we are very well aware that we have to safeguard markets, we have to think about upcoming markets,” said Agnelli.
“We have to think about Poland. We have to think about [countries like] Turkey, we have to think about Russia. Fans can rest assured that if we put our hands to making a new product it’s because we want to make sure that fans across Europe engage.”
Ceferin and Agnelli were speaking ahead of their meeting with the European Commissioner for Sport, Tibor Navracsics.
“We want to show that our vision of the future of football is, let’s say, similar. It’s not completely the same,” Ceferin told the BBC. “We [UEFA and the ECA] have some disagreements from time to time but we firmly believe in the European sports model together.
“We think that the European football can go further only if we stay together, unified. If you want to develop football you have to stay together.
“Europe has problems with unity these days – and football, as one of the biggest powers, should lead this unity. That’s our opinion.”
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