European football leagues hit out at UEFA Champions League reform
European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) call UEFA’s Champions League reform “unacceptable” and threaten to terminate the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
UEFA’s planned reform of the Champions League (CL) competition from 2018-19 onwards took a heavy beat when leaders of the European professional leagues on Thursday issued a damning statement, claiming that UEFA had acted in breach with the Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations. EPFL threatens to terminate the MoU, and "give all European Leagues total freedom to schedule their matches as they see fit—including on the same days and at the same kick-off times as UEFA Club Competitions".
The reform of the CL includes a secured four places for the four highest-ranking countries, leaving less places for clubs from less successful football nations. The reform will also alter the way revenues are distributed.
“This decision will have a detrimental impact on domestic competitions and will lead to an exponential growth in the financial and sporting gap between the biggest clubs in Europe and all the others,” said the EPFL statement.
In their statement, the EPFL clearly states that they do not agree neither with the changes decided, nor with the way these changes have come about.
“The European Leagues believe the way this process has been conducted by UEFA to be unacceptable for an organisation that claims to be the governing body of football in Europe. A major change in European football has been announced without the support and consensus of the organisers of domestic league football in Europe.”
UEFA, however, calls the amendments “the result of a wide-ranging consultative process involving all European football stakeholders and taking into account a wide range of expertise and perspectives”.
The EPFL urges the new UEFA president, who is to be elected next week, to reconsider the amendments.