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“A blatant power grab” – Fans criticise own clubs on UCL plans

Europe’s biggest clubs have been roundly criticised by their own supporters today over plans to expand the Champions League.

Clubs that sit on the European Club Association (ECA) board, the body behind the push for radical reform to European club competition, have been told their plans are a “serious threat to the entire game”.

Fan groups from the 14 clubs represented on the board sent a joint letter to the ECA demanding an end to the plans and called on footballing authorities to stop making concessions to the continent’s most powerful clubs.

“Your plans to restructure the Champions League by increasing the number of games, introducing qualification based on past achievements, and monopolising commercial rights present a serious threat to the entire game,” the letter says.

“Such a blatant power grab would be indefensible at the best of times, but at the height of a global pandemic, it is nothing more than crisis profiteering—not to mention a stark contrast to the solidarity displayed by fans.”

A decision is expected very soon on the future of the Champions League, which would include 100 extra matches and four new “exclusive game weeks” running from Tuesday to Thursday.

The proposals from UEFA would also make concessions to the biggest clubs who have been drawing up plans for a breakaway European Super League by allowing entry for some teams based on historic performance in Europe.

This would guarantee participation in UEFA’s competitions for certain clubs even if they failed to qualify via performance in their domestic leagues, as it currently operates.

“We are the fans of today,” the fan groups said. “And we do not want more European games.

“We want strong, competitive domestic leagues, an equal opportunity to qualify for Europe based on sporting merit, and fairer sharing of the game’s wealth.”

The FSA has long-opposed the concept of a European Super League, but UEFA’s alternative plans represent a massive threat to lower league finances, domestic cup competitions, weekend football, and will all but lock out new entrants to European competition.

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