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Fans meet UEFA’s Aleksander Čeferin

Yesterday, a delegation of fan representatives led by Football Supporters Europe met with UEFA and its president Aleksander Čeferin to discuss the fallout from the European Super League and the critical role that fans played in its demise.

The group included individuals from the Football Supporters’ Association and our affiliated representatives at Arsenal Supporters’ Trust, Chelsea Supporters’ Trust, Manchester City Official Supporters’ Club, Manchester United Supporters’ Trust, Spirit of Shankly, Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust, and Spanish fans’ groups.

UEFA were keen to hear from supporters at those specific clubs.

Fans in the meeting were clear that the events of the past few weeks must never be allowed to happen again – the future of the beautiful game cannot be controlled by a handful of billionaire club owners.

Our key arguments are that:

  1. UEFA has defended competition qualification based on sporting merit in recent weeks. It cannot reverse that position and try to create a new Champions League structure which rewards history and heritage over results from the previous season.
  2. Supporters oppose any further expansion of the European calendar which eats into domestic leagues putting weekend fixtures and cup competitions under threat. When it comes to European football fans want quality over quantity, and certainly not the 10 first phase games as previously proposed.
  3. A fairer distribution of UEFA revenue and an increase in solidarity payments across the continent has to be enacted to make sure that the whole football pyramid benefits from the game’s wealth.

Kevin Miles, chief executive of the FSA, said:

“We have made it absolutely crystal clear to UEFA and Aleksander Čeferin that allowing clubs to qualify for Europe based on anything other than sporting merit is completely unacceptable and fans oppose any expansion of the Champions League.

“Any format which allows clubs to compete based on prestige or historic performance is a capitulation to the same greedy owners who tried to form their breakaway European Super League. We won’t accept a bad option just because there was a worse one.

“Supporters across the continent want to see UEFA reward sporting merit, respect domestic competition, and share the wealth that football has, rather than allow the greediest owners to hoard it.

“As supporters we don’t pretend to have all the answers but we were encouraged by President Čeferin’s commitment to more engagement and consultation from UEFA before any final decision is reached. Fans must have their say in how football is run.”

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