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FSE call for fan consultation on UEFA changes

In the coming weeks, UEFA will formally revise the format of post-2024 European club competitions and the system of revenue distribution for the period 2021-2024, and Football Supporters Europe (FSE) has called on the governing body to include fans in the consultation process. As FSE explain…

While the content of these discussions is yet to be made public, there is a growing fear among fans across the continent that their outcome will make European club competitions and domestic leagues more unequal, less competitive, and in the long run, unsustainable.

FSE therefore calls on UEFA to ensure that any proposals to restructure the foundations of the European game are subject to meaningful multi-stakeholder consultation—including supporters and their representatives.

To this end, we reaffirm our commitment to the following principles, which were unanimously adopted by our members at the 2019 General Meeting:

  • Promotion and relegation based on sporting performance – from the bottom of the pyramid to qualification for European competitions.
  • No to closed leagues or franchise football – qualification exclusively based on performance, not through history or wealth.
  • Weekends are for domestic leagues – protect fan culture, home and away.
  • Competitive leagues – keep domestic competitions open and fair.
  • Protect the pyramid and cup competitions – domestic football comes first.
  • Share the wealth – redistribute revenue from elite football across the whole game.

These principles are shared by the overwhelming majority of fans, and they are particularly relevant in light of the ongoing financial and social impact of the pandemic.

On this point, FSE Board member Martha Gens (Portugal) observed: “Football fans have played a central role in keeping their clubs afloat during the crisis.

“Clubs and the football authorities have publicly recognised this, highlighting the importance of fans and their positive contribution throughout a difficult period. This is why there can be no return to business as usual. The future of the game must be based on solidarity, transparency, and sustainability.”

Ahead of the talks, Dave Pennington from the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) said: “Fans have to be brought fully into the consultation process now, not after decisions have been made. The planned changes will have a huge impact on the future of our game, and they cannot be allowed to threaten the integrity and importance of our national leagues.”

Jakob Scholz from the Borussia Dortmund Supporters’ Association (BVB Fanabteilung) echoed these sentiments, emphasising the significance of revenue distribution, which is currently a prominent topic of discussion in Germany: “Revenue distribution affects us all—from the biggest leagues and clubs to the smallest.

“Although our clubs are among those who profit most from the current system, we believe a fundamental increase in solidarity payments for non-participating clubs would benefit everybody, even if it means our clubs gets less.”

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