ECA still wants Champions League revamp but happy to wait for ‘meaningful’ meeting

By Andrew Warshaw

August 19 – European clubs have re-iterated their opposition to the current format of the Champions League but have welcomed  UEFA’s decision to postpone a summit meeting between all stakeholders that had been scheduled for September 11.

Last week, UEFA  called off talks aimed at overhauling the Champions League from 2024 because, according to UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, it would have been premature.

Both European Club Association chairman Andrea Agnelli, who has been advocating a mainly closed Champions League, and European Leagues president Lars-Christer Olsson, who takes a very different view, were due to jointly meet UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin.

No date has been fixed for a replacement meeting with Ceferin saying he would call one “as soon as I think that we are ready for a meaningful discussion.”

The ECA top brass met last week in Liverpool and afterwards made clear that the membership, which has grown to 246 clubs, was still in favour of radical change.

“Our members have made clear that the current structure of UEFA Club Competitions is not serving the interests of the majority of clubs, particularly those outside of the largest domestic competitions,” a statement said.

“The Executive Board reviewed and discussed the feedback received to date. This will be analysed further over the coming weeks.”

“The board therefore welcomes the UEFA president’s decision to postpone the meeting between UEFA, ECA and the European Leagues originally scheduled for September 11.”

The next key date is the ECA’s general assembly in Geneva on September 9-10 when a new board will be elected for the 2019-23 cycle.

But until and unless all parties can agree on how to move forward it is increasingly unlikely any new Champions League format will be announced before next year.

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