Tebas argues Champions League changes would endanger European leagues

May 14 – Spanish league president Javier Tebas has once again come out fighting over plans to overhaul the Champions League warning that the changes will seriously affect competitive balance in his country and beyond.

Although UEFA and the European Clubs Association insist no firm decisions have yet been made over the future format beyond 2024, it is widely being reported that a promotion and relegation system will be introduced and that weekends could also be used.

“The proposed plans for the Super League put LaLiga in serious jeopardy,” said Tebas. “It will change the entire way in which European football will work.”

“€500 million will go to those clubs who are competing in the competition and before we know it, there will be an unsalvageable disparity of wealth between the elite clubs and the rest.”

Reuters is reporting there will be three divisions, the top one the equivalent of the current Champions League with 32 teams divided into four groups of eight rather than the current eight groups of four.

Twenty-four teams would qualify automatically for the following year’s competition with four more promoted from the second tier – currently the Europa League – and only four places open to champions of Europe’s 54 domestic leagues.

Europe’s leagues are furious over what they perceive as a weakening of the domestic system through which teams traditionally qualify – and Tebas is at the forefront of the protests.

“They are talking about a reform of the Champions, but really it is a new competition. The (domestic) leagues have been the way of qualifying for the Champions League but that won’t be the case any more,” he said during a progamme on the Gol television channel.

“A number of clubs will be established who are always among the 32. On a scale out of 10, my level of worry is seven to eight. Is La Liga in danger? Yes, without doubt. UEFA can’t do this and we want to convince other institutions that this cannot go ahead. We are working on a strategy.”

“The broadcast rights in Europe will change. There will be less money to share around the other clubs….and, in four or five years, the inequality will be enormous.”

Last weekend former Premier League chief Richard Scudamore said turning the Champions League into a largely closed-off competition – understood to have the backing of ECA chairman Andrea Agnelli – would be “completely out of order.”

“If you go down Mr. Agnelli’s proposed route which is more European competition and less domestic competition it is bound to harm those domestic leagues,” Scudamore told the BBC. “Not just the Premier League but across the whole of Europe.”

Scudamore said UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin needed to “take a real, hard look at what this could do to domestic leagues which are effectively the bed-rock of football across the whole of Europe, across the whole world.”

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