Champions League reform: the lifeblood of the big clubs | Sports | DW

The UEFA Executive Committee had already decided last year: the planned reform of the Champions League should be implemented from 2024. Now the Executive Committee in Vienna is again discussing some details of the plan. The reason: many fan initiatives, but also organized European football see an urgent need for correction. The UEFA Congress is due to vote on the reform on Wednesday.

This is a scheme:

From 2024, the Champions League will not be played with 32 teams in eight groups of the preliminary round as usual. The field of participants has been increased by four teams, and the time for team matches is over. The 36 teams will play in a league system where everyone is not competing against everyone else. So each team must play ten matches instead of six in the preliminary round: five home matches and five away matches. A total of 100 Champions League matches will start more than before.

Eligible: 32 teams qualify across their domestic leagues as before. Under the reform plan, two of the four additional tickets will be awarded based on the results of the past five years – to teams that have not been able to qualify across the National League. This is considered a privilege for those big clubs from England, Spain and Italy whose plan for an independent Super League failed a year ago.

Fifth place in the five-year country classification (currently France) takes a new place at the start, and the last place goes to the junior league champion, who would otherwise have had to play qualifying.

The way to the address: The top eight teams in the table are in the round of 16 live. The late 16 teams play a playoff for the other eight places. From the round of 16 to the semi-finals, there are home and away matches as before. Then follows the final in one match.

Criticism of plans:

Organized fansFootball Supporters in Europe (FSE)” In an open letter, he warned of the consequences of the reform: “Ultimately, your decision will shape the game for a generation, affecting every league, every club, every player and fan in Europe.” The letter was addressed to the ECA, which has two seats on the UEFA Executive Committee.

The FSE wants to better protect football through the citizens’ initiative across Europe. “Sport is a social good that belongs to everyone – not just the rich and the elite,” that is the logic.

“In recent months, many fans have been thinking about necessary reforms in football and have noted that sustainable and sustainable European football will be difficult to achieve without EU-wide regulations,” says Helen Brett, a spokeswoman for the German fan. The “Unsere-Curve” initiative.

European League European Championships, where the German Football League (DFL) is also organized, criticizes, among other things, the larger number of matches planned. “Such an increase would harm the vast majority of clubs and benefit very little,” UEFA president Klaus Thomsen said. In addition, the organization is calling for more national champions to participate in the Champions League.

Furthermore, only the Sports Criteria should decide on qualification and not the results of previous years that should be taken into account. According to the league, this will be a kind of safety net for the big clubs who are going through a bad season and violating the principle of competition. “This is the heart and soul of football,” says Thompson. “That’s why fans get so excited about football every weekend.”

In addition, according to the European Championships, the current practice of distributing money is fueling the growing inequality and thus boredom in the respective leagues (ten-time German champion Bayern in a row). Of the current total income of €3.5 billion from European club competitions, only four per cent is distributed as solidarity payments to clubs that do not play. From 2024, income from television broadcasting contracts will rise to about five billion euros.

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