Released 8: 20 a.m. ET April 25, 2019| Upgraded 11: 45 a.m. ET April 25, 2019
LONDON (AP)– Europe’s elite soccer clubs are pushing to play each other more frequently by lobbying UEFA for modifications to the Champions League that would see the intro of promo and transfer.
European Club Association chairman Andrea Agnelli, who runs Juventus, is seeking to take control of an overhaul to the continent’s competitors from 2024 by informing members to boycott a conference assembled by leagues next month and only attend its own top in June.
In a letter to the ECA’s 232 member clubs on Thursday, Agnelli slammed the European Leagues company for trying to preserve the “status quo,” and instead set out a vision that would see the most significant modifications to the Champions League since non-domestic champs were enabled entry in 1997.
European Leagues President Lars-Christer Olsson responded in a letter to leagues and clubs, stating they are “matured enough to make their own judgments without getting ‘orders’ from the ECA president.” Olsson said an attempt by the ECA to guide the future shape of competitions might cause an “abuse of (a) dominant position” that must be examined by competition authorities.
The leagues organization is attempting to protect the status of domestic competitions, resisting strategies that might cause the creation of a European Super League for the wealthy and powerful groups.
Even with four groups from each of England, Italy and Spain offered a direct path into the Champions League group phase, Agnelli wants reforms that will entrench the status of the biggest clubs in the competitors.
In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, Agnelli wrote to ECA members to say “more European football is great for the video game … for fans, for society, for cultural, sporting and financial development.”
The financial power of Juventus has obliterated the competitiveness of the Italian title race, with Agnelli’s group last weekend winning a record-extending eighth straight Serie A with 5 video games remaining. It indicates why Agnelli would desire Juventus to play regularly versus continental competitors, promoting “European matches with greater sporting quality and a more competitive environment at all levels.”
Amongst concepts which Agnelli believes are “fundamental to the future of European football,” he advocates a “pyramidal Pan European League System with continuity and chance to grow from within” by embracing an “enhancement of mobility and dynamism throughout the system through thoroughly used promotion and relegation.”
Presently only the winners of the second-tier Europa League are promoted to the Champions League for a single campaign. The winner of a third-tier competitors introducing in 2021 will also be promoted to the next Europa League.
The Champions League winner is ensured entry the following season but the other slots are determined based on where a group surfaces in their domestic league.
Some teams, like Dutch runner-up Ajax, had to start in qualifying rounds in July. That meant Ajax played 6 video games to reach the group phase, however it has handled to reach its first Champions League semifinal in 22 years.
Agnelli said competitions must be “open up to all– keeping the dream alive” but the specifics on when groups have to go into might see smaller groups gotten rid of before dealing with the powerhouses.
Agnelli does, however, state that places need to be “based on sporting meritocracy, not historic advantage” after suggestions that European pedigree could be used to help leading teams qualify while having a hard time in their domestic leagues.
Agnelli is attempting to reduce the role of the leagues in forming the future of competitions by implicating them of spreading “mistaken beliefs … in the interests of preserving the status quo.”
The European Leagues body has invited clubs to a conference in Madrid on Might 6-7 however Agnelli wants his members to attend only an ECA unique general assembly on June 6-7 in Malta.
” It is not suitable for European Leagues to be welcoming ECA members and we suggest that you not attend this meeting,” Agnelli told clubs.
” In the occasion that you do deem your existence rewarding, we would ask that you firmly insist not to be associated in any official way with any communication that might occur from the meeting– as the European Leagues will surely attempt to do.”
In the letter from the European Leagues to members and clubs attending to Agnelli’s remarks, Olsson stated the Juventus chairman could be “scared that a lot of ECA members are coming to Madrid.”
” The European Leagues will in any case establish our own proposition for the future of the European club competitors and after that you will have the ability to judge for yourselves which model will be the finest,” Olsson stated. “When you have actually made your own mind up, you will have to convince your own Football Association and your Leagues to work for the intro of your favored design. Do not forget that it is the Football Associations that ‘owns’ UEFA who will take the final choice.”
The UEFA president is chosen by Europe’s 55 associations.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material might not be released, broadcast, rewritten or rearranged.