May 21 – As the German league season came to a close last weekend with Bayern Munich retaining their title for a seventh consecutive time – much to the misfortune of Borussia Dortmund – German fans not for the first time expressed their displeasure of what they perceive as an elitist attitude by European football’s hierarchy.
This time, Bayern fans unfurled a banner criticising UEFA and European Clubs Association and denouncing the latter as being nothing more than for “the survival of the rich”.
The protest was over controversial plans to overhaul the Champions League in 2024.
Interestingly, Bayern supremo Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is a former ECA president but that didn’t stop the fans proclaiming “Champions, a closed league? F…ECA, F Uefa”.
The 36 clubs in the top two divisions of Germany’s Bundesliga last week added their voices to the lobby rejecting the current reform proposals for European and international club competition that would begin in 2024.
DFL CEO Christian Seifert said: “The presently discussed concept of the European Club Association (ECA) would have unacceptable consequences for the national leagues in Europe and should therefore not be implemented in this form. We must not allow, that the traditional national leagues are damaged in their attractiveness for millions of people across the continent.”
“We are convinced that UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin correctly assesses the value of the national leagues as the heart chamber of European professional football and will continue to moderate further proceedings in a foresightful manner. A possible reform of the already very successful European club competitions should be satisfactory for all participants, not just for a few,” Seifert continued.
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