European leagues, fans team up to push for national football

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Two groups of European supporters who work with UEFA have teamed up with domestic leagues in an effort to lobby more effectively against plans they believe threaten domestic football.

Their cooperation deal announced on Thursday follows unrest caused by the club-led Super League project and a new FIFA v Europe dispute over the world football organization pushing to host the World Cup every two years in the United States. instead of four.

The supporters’ representatives – Football Supporters Europe (FSE) and Supporter Direct Europe – and the group of 31 European league nations are calling for “appropriate involvement” in football decision-making and management.

“Fans and leagues share common principles and now we want to implement them in specific projects and activities,” said Antonia Hagemann, CEO of SD Europe, in a joint statement from the three organizations.

European Leagues General Manager Jacco Swart said the move was “a natural step to converge and work together to protect national football”.

Although leagues and fans have helped UEFA to oppose the Super League and biennial World Cup proposal, they do not agree with some of the Champions League changes that are expected to come into effect in 2024.

These include UEFA giving two wild card entries to clubs based on a 10-year record of results in European competitions.

“The parties recognize the importance of competitive national competitions in full capacity stadiums with home and away supporters, with sporting merit being the main driver of success,” the joint statement said.

Fans and leagues also want UEFA to do away with the use of a league table of historic club records to allocate 30% of Champions League prizes – worth € 600m (688m million dollars) this season. He guarantees Real Madrid 36.4million euros ($ 41.8million), while the No.32-ranked sheriff makes just 1.14million euros ($ 1.3million). The sheriff beat Madrid 2-1 in September.

UEFA also agreed in April to add four clubs to the Champions League in 2024 and give them 10 guaranteed matches instead of six, despite ESF opposition to the additional cost in money and time for fans.

The FSE, which is officially recognized by UEFA as “one of its main stakeholders”, said the extra games were a takeover by wealthy clubs.

In their statement on Thursday, leagues and supporters said that UEFA and FIFA allowing international competitions to grow too much “will distort the competitive balance of leagues and the health of domestic football”.

UEFA’s executive decision-making committee has two seats for club delegates – currently Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser al-Khelaifi and Bayern Munich’s Karl-Heinz Rummenigge – and only one for the leagues, which send the Spaniard Javier Tebas. The fans are not represented.


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