German French leagues reject proposal to create closed Champions League

Paola Ditto
Mag 18, 2019

The European Leagues has said plans to revamp the Champions League should be started from scratch, as the current proposals only benefit "a few rich and dominant clubs".

After the Bundesliga said all 36 members voted to reject the European Club Association's reform plan, representatives from professional French clubs gathered in Paris and rejected the project with 32 votes against, and three abstentions. Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are among 13 German members of the ECA, which is urging UEFA to make radical changes to the Champions League format.

The top 24 teams would keep their places for the next season, ending the tradition that qualifying for European competition is achieved via national leagues.

Moving Champions League games to the weekend and introducing a promotion and relegation system are reported to be two of the ideas that have been floated in UEFA proposals which could come into effect in 2024.

Only four places would be open to the winners of Europe's 54 national leagues.

"The now discussed concept of the European Club Association would have unacceptable consequences for the national leagues in Europe and should therefore not be implemented in this form", said DFL CEO Christian Seifert.

"We can't allow the traditional national leagues to suffer [as they are] watched by millions across Europe".

The DFL called on UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin to "moderate further proceedings in a foresightful manner".

"In all discussions, two points are of crucial importance: the number of games in the football calendar and, above all, access to global competitions". He added the ECA's plan "would sustainably damage the whole of European football - and that can never be in the interest of the UEFA".

"The changes that would be applied to these two variables mustn't put the relevancy and the future of national leagues in Europe in danger".

Fearing a loss of TV revenues for French football authorities and clubs, and an overcrowded match calendar, Le Graet said a closed-off Champions League would undermine the country's domestic championship.

"Following last week's Club Advisory Meeting in Madrid with over 240 European clubs, and the meeting between the UEFA Executive Committee and the European Leagues board of directors in Nyon, the European Leagues retain the strong opinion that the presented proposal for reforming the European Club Competitions benefits just a few rich and dominant clubs but damages the leagues and the great majority of clubs playing in the domestic competitions", a statement from the body said.

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