May 23 – With anticipation mounting ahead of a potentially pivotal summit of Europe’s clubs early next month to discuss the future direction of the Champions League, those who represent their inner sanctum are giving nothing away as to what the outcome might be.
Over the past few weeks, plans to overhaul UEFA’s elite tournament post-2024 have been hit by a tit-for-tat rift between European Club Association (ECA) which wants more fixtures for the top clubs and the leagues and national associations who oppose messing with the domestic calendar.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has been forced to intervene and call for calm after protests that Europe’s have-nots would be severely disadvantaged by the proposed new format and his stance appears to have been heeded by the ECA Executive Board which met in St. Petersburg earlier this week.
Far from issuing another bullish statement in advance of the forthcoming June 6-7 meeting in Malta, the board was distinctly diplomatic in tone, saying its aim was to bring about “a fair, balanced and representative model which will be of more benefit to the club game across all of Europe, from the smallest to the biggest clubs.”
“Our fundamental belief is that clubs in all European countries who are good enough to develop and play regularly in European competitions should have the chance to do so.”
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