Aleksander Ceferin returned this Sunday to the criticisms surrounding the reform of the Champions League. In an interview for the Daily Mail, the UEFA president left the door open to changes to the adopted draft, while nevertheless warning players and coaches about the necessary adjustment of salaries if the Champions League remains in the ‘state.
The European Super League project quickly turned into a fiasco this week but at the same time, UEFA adopted its reform of the Champions League on Monday. The most prestigious of European competitions foresees more teams and matches from 2024. This has attracted several criticisms, including those of Pep Guardiola, Jürgen Klopp or Ilkay Gündogan.
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“With everything going on in the Super League … can we also talk about the new format of the Champions League? More and more games. Nobody thinks of us, the players? This new format of the Champions League is only a lesser evil compared to the Super League, “pointed out Gündogan.
“There can always be fewer games but the salaries have to adjust”
In an interview this Sunday with the Daily Mail, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin did not hesitate to respond to criticism. “There can always be fewer games but also the salaries of players and coaches have to adjust,” Ceferin retorted. “You can’t generate less and win more all the time. I’ve read some people saying, ‘We don’t want more games. ‘ I agree with that, really, if the Champions League stays the way it is, it will always be the best competition in the world. “
So why did you change the format of the Champions League, which was mostly appreciated? “Our reforms came about because the clubs need help to cope with the financial crisis,” replied Ceferin. “We can continue as now but the clubs will cease their activities. And who does it hurt the most? Their fans. So even though I understand what some people are saying, I ask them, ‘What’s your solution?’ We believe that the reforms we are undertaking are beneficial for everyone. “
With the new Champions League format that will come into effect during the 2024-2025 season, 36 clubs will participate in this competition, compared to 32 currently. The group stages will be deleted for a single pool and 10 matches in total against 6 currently. The first eight would qualify for the round of 16, while play-offs would be made for the remaining 8 places.
For the rest, if the project has been adopted, it can always be modified before its implementation. “But we have been clear that this reform is not entirely set in stone, so if these people have better ideas that preserve the future of football as well as ours, I will listen to them,” warned Ceferin, ready to come back with UEFA on the latest reforms announced. But it would then be necessary to make financial concessions for the various players in the world of football according to Ceferin.