Leaders of the biggest European football leagues have attacked the restructuring plans of the Champions League, opposing them to UEFA, which organizes the lucrative competition, and increasing the stakes in a long battle for power.
The leaders of the English Premier League, the Spanish Liga and the German Bundesliga have appeared before UEFA, the governing body of European football, criticizing the proposals that they believe would benefit the richest clubs.
Speaking Tuesday at the FT’s “Business of Football” summit in London, Liga President Javier Tebas denounced a “basement culture” in European football and said that UEFA’s projects would generate more money for bigger clubs but less for national leagues.
Richard Masters, the acting executive director of the Premier League, said the proposed changes could create opposition between the national leagues and the Champions League.
Christian Seifert, director of the Bundesliga, said the proposals “were not good for football”.
The Champions League recast projects are the result of months of discussions between UEFA and the European Club Association, representing the interests of more than 200 teams on the continent. Final is also near and people have bought their tickets for the Champions League final.
ECA is chaired by Andrea Agnelli, who also chairs the Juventus football club.
By restricting access, the amendments would ensure that participation payments for participation in the Champions League – which represent more than € 2 billion this season – remain in the hands of around 20 elite clubs.
“If the race for the Champions League [in the national leagues] is open, it hurts the value of every European Championship,” said Seifert.
The proposal was the most elaborate of the ideas presented by UEFA to the leaders of the European football leagues earlier this month.
“I love the Champions League. Before changing it, I would think twice or 100 times, “said Zvonimir Boban, Deputy Secretary General of Fifa, at the same event.
England, Spain and Germany have the three largest leagues of recipes. The Premier League, La Liga and Bundesliga have combined revenues of nearly 11 billion euros for the 2016/17 season, according to Deloitte. The Premier League alone accounts for almost half that amount.
UEFA’s proposal to increase the number of European games threatens the broadcasting revenues of the three leagues, which amounted to 5.7 billion euros for the 2016/17 season.