Fresh plans for 80-team competition to replace Champions League

SUPER LEAGUE Fresh plans for 80-team competition to replace Champions League

Ifeanyi Ufomadu 10:35 - 09.02.2023

Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus understood to have contacted more than 50 clubs in the hope of creating a new European tournament.

The European Super League backers have revealed today that they want to launch a new version of the project that crashed two years ago: a multi-division competition of 60 to 80 teams with no permanent members, and a minimum of 14 games per club, per season.

Fresh plans for European tournament 

The announcement was made in various European newspapers by A22, the Madrid-based sister company of the Super League (ESL), and timed to coincide with a new push from the three remaining rebels Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus to continue their battle with Uefa.

A22 claim that the new project is a result of detailed conversations with clubs around Europe on the financial problems facing them. For the past few months, A22 and the ESL have focused their attacks on the wealth of the Premier League, its dominance of the transfer market and the effect that has on other European leagues with less lucrative television deals.

 There are no details yet on how the original 60 to 80 teams would be constituted or how they would drop out of the proposed competition to make way for new clubs. 

The original ESL, in April 2021, was pilloried for offering permanent membership to its founding clubs of which six were from the Premier League: the two Manchester clubs, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

Format for new competition yet to be disclosed

The format of the proposed new Super League has been kept a secret by Real, Barcelona and Juventus, but even now there are still questions about how it might work – were it ever given the legal room to operate.

 A22, as well as its major backers like Real president Florentino Perez, has claimed in the past that there would be greater solidarity payments for clubs who do not participate in European competitions.

Super League chief executive lays out plans

Writing in the German newspaper Welt, the chief executive of A22, Bernd Reichart, continued the attack on Uefa by claiming that clubs have no say in the running of its competitions. He said:

 “It is the clubs that bear the entrepreneurial risk in football but when it comes to important decisions, they are too often forced to stand idly by from the sidelines as the sporting and financial foundations run under their hands. Our talks have also made it clear that it is often impossible for clubs to raise their voices publicly against a system that uses the threat of sanctions to prevent opposition.”

Reichart made other claims about supporting the women’s game, supporting domestic competitions, the health of the players and financial sustainability rules and fan experience. 

There are pledges to pursue all these issues but no details on how much revenue will be generated to do so or who might run the ESL. In its first iteration in 2021, power was concentrated in the hands of Perez; Andrea Agnelli, the former Juventus chairman; and Manchester United co-owner Joel Glazer.

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