New UEFA president will make new Champions League format his top priority
Aleksander Ceferin was elected UEFA president on Wednesday and the very first thing on his docket will be to take another look at the changes to the new Champions League format.
UEFA recently agreed to allow four teams from the top four leagues in Europe to go straight to the Champions League group stage. The move was called a way to appease the continent's top clubs and keep them from leaving UEFA to start a Super League, but it was a deal made between UEFA and the clubs while the confederation was led by an interim president. Many officials have said they were not involved in the negotiations or deal, Ceferin among them.
“We were not informed properly, I still think so,” Ceferin said after being elected on Wednesday. “About everything else, we will have to sit down and see what is the agreement and what we can do in future about it.”
UEFA was being led by an interim president because former president Michel Platini had been banned by FIFA for corruption. Without a strong leader or a vision for the future, there was a belief that the clubs had all the leverage.
Ceferin is right, UEFA is the governing body. The problem is that the biggest clubs don't necessarily need UEFA, at least not financially. A Super League would bring in a ton of cash and the big clubs know that they are the biggest draws for UEFA and the Champions League.
There is a clear split between the big clubs in Europe and the rest of the continent. It's not exactly a new issue, but with more and more money coming into the sport, it's becoming a bigger one. Having an unstable UEFA hasn't helped matters either. Now we know who will lead UEFA and hopefully that will bring about a more united confederation with a clear direction. At least that's what Ceferin will be aiming for.
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