As we reported yesterday, Arsenal are one of a number of clubs currently in Amsterdam to discuss changes to the Champions League that will effectively turn it into a European Super League that will play some of its matches around the world while FIFA have annoyed UEFA by approving another competition for clubs.
As you would expect, there has been no shortage of countries interested in getting involved with the USA, China, Australia, Japan, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Russia and Singapore all prepared to bid to host games of the reformatted competition “to trigger the income not only for the interest of the parties [clubs], but by the unification of schedules, which would be done taking into account the interests of the Arab and Asian channels, who will pay the most.”
It will still operate in a similar manner to what we are used to – eight groups of four producing teams for the knock-out rounds, however, the games will be moved to the weekend with domestic matches obligated to move to midweek.
Clubs who are unlikely to take part in the Champions League are, understandably, not happy. “So that a few can have their Super League we are not going to consent to others that we get to play on Wednesday”, said one of the representatives of La Liga to AS. There are currently reps from nine Spanish clubs in Amsterdam for the conference with only three of them expected to be regular competitors (Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico, Valencia, Sevilla, Athletic, Villarreal, Real Sociedad and Malaga).
Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Chelsea, Arsenal, PSG, City, Liverpool and Milan, are listed as ‘founders’, in addition to Atletico, Dortmund, Marseille, Inter and Roma, who are invited as guests to the ‘new’ league. There’s no room for Tottenham.
It is hoped that the league will be in place before 2024 however, “there will be no changes [before], except that the European competitions will be three as of 2021: the Champions League and the two divisions of the Europa League.”
It is believed that, while most clubs are wary, the power of the top clubs will pull the changes through with only the Premier League still to agree to moving games.
“The clubs of the elite have spent years mulling over the Super League. If it has not been done before is because they have not had the support of the English clubs”.
There are many who believe the International Champions Cup is a testing ground for some of the changes.
On checking the UK papers this morning (and yesterday), they had no mention of this event even taking place, let alone the changes that are coming.
FIFA have also approved the ‘Supermundial of Clubs’ to take place every four years with the first happening between 18 June and 4 July 2021, most likely in Japan.
The winners of the Champions League and Europa League for the last four seasons (eight teams) will be joined by six teams from South America, three from Africa, Asia and CONCACAF (nine total) and one from Oceania.
FIFA would like to increase the number of European teams to 12 by giving slots to runners-up from the Champions League and Europa League and taking four slots away from other federations while UEFA are against the whole thing altogether.
Participants will receive €22m while the winner could see up to €130m in profits. In other words, teams could win more money in three weeks than they do in the whole Champions League.
Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are already believed to be on-board with Barcelona expected to follow despite their president, Josep Maria Bartomeu being keen to avoid upsetting UEFA president Alexsander Ceferin.
The competition will consist of eight groups of three with the winners all progressing to the quarter-finals.
FIFA expects to make €1billion from the tournament with the Japanese software company, SoftBank, already signed up as a tournament sponsor.