Barcelona warn of breakaway European league

adedawson

Senior Squad
The Sun

A BREAKAWAY European league will start in 2014 unless world football caves in to demands from the big clubs.
That was the threat last night by Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, who is pushing for the biggest revolution for decades.

His massive overhaul would involve cutting the Premier League from 20 to 16 teams to expand the Champions League.

And Rosell, vice-chairman of the powerful European Club Association, last night gave UEFA a blunt warning.

He said: "If UEFA and the ECA reach an agreement, we would like to increase the Champions League under the umbrella of UEFA. If not, the ECA is entitled to organise their own champions competition."

The current peace deal between UEFA and the clubs, sealed in a Memorandum of Understanding, runs out in 2014.

Rosell said European champions Barcelona would not sign a new agreement with UEFA or a similar treaty with FIFA unless the governing bodies gave them what they wanted.

The demands, which threaten to tear football apart, include:

An expanded Champions League with up to eight teams from one country competing and big games played at weekends.

A total revamp of the international football calendar, including the reduction or even abolition of friendly matches.

Payment to clubs for the release of players to take part in the World Cup, European Championship and other tournaments.

A bigger share of money generated by football and a greater say in how the game is run.

Rosell wants La Liga cut from 20 to 16 teams to allow Barcelona to organise lucrative friendly matches and to free up weekends for Champions League clashes which would draw huge worldwide TV audiences.

He admits that the other major European leagues, including the English top flight, would also have to downsize to make his concept work. But he believes it would be possible to bring the majority of the ECA's 200 or so members along with him.

Rosell, speaking at the Aspire 4 Sport conference in Qatar, said: "We would like to have a Champions League with more teams, which would mean in the future we could play Barcelona versus Manchester United on a Saturday or Sunday, at the quarter-final stage, for example.

"In Spain we have four clubs in the Champions League. If you increase that to eight, the other four would be in favour.

"First we have to convince the Premier League to reduce from 20 to 16 teams as well. All the national leagues will have to be convinced of the benefits."

It is believed England's top sides are keen on the plan. Clubs have threatened breakaway leagues before but pulled back after winning concessions from UEFA about the Champions League and Europa League.

But this time they are pushing for an overhaul of the club and international game.


Rosell said: "We have to review completely the calendar of UEFA and FIFA. They use our players for, I think, about 120 days every two years.

"We don't think it's fair we pay the salaries and they use our players and get other income by using our players. They need to reduce their own calendar, especially taking out friendlies.

"We hope FIFA and UEFA will hear what we want to tell them. The worst-case scenario is we'll go away from UEFA."

Manchester United chief executive David Gill flew to Zurich last week for a crisis meeting with ECA members.

Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, of Bayern Munich, is believed to have told his co-conspirators that his talks with UEFA and FIFA had brought little progress.

Sky Sports

Europe's leading clubs want governing bodies FIFA and UEFA to stump up the cash for players' wages during international tournaments, according to Barcelona president Sandro Rosell.

Rosell wants the top European domestic leagues cut to 16 teams and proposes the money-spinning UEFA Champions Leagueshould be expanded.

And the Spaniard has warned UEFA that leading clubs may break away unless their demands are met.

Speaking at a conference in Doha, he said clubs had opened discussions with the two bodies over the payment of players during the World Cup and European Championships.

Income

"The worst case scenario is that we will go away from UEFA."
Sandro Rosell
Quotes of the week
Rosell added: "That could happen in the near future because we don't think it is fair that we pay the salaries and they use our players and get income using our players.

"This is something that has to be treated very seriously."

The Barca chief believes 20 teams in England's Premier League, along with Spain's La Liga and Italy's Serie A, is too many.

Premier League teams have previously resisted attempts to cut numbers, but Rosell believes the lure of an enlarged Champions League could convince English clubs.

He said: "The objective of reducing from 20 to 16 is to give more space to our players.

"Once the dates are liberated, these dates are not for the national federations. They are for the clubs to organise friendly games or to increase the European competitions."

Breakaway

UEFA's agreement with the European Club Association, the organisation representing over 200 of the continent's biggest clubs, expires in 2014.

Rosell warned clubs may decide to go alone if a new agreement cannot be reached.

He said: "If this doesn't happen then the worst case scenario is that we will go away from UEFA."

Interesting... this seems to go back to the TV Rights argument from before.

http://www.soccergaming.com/forums/showthread.php?t=171262

This would give smaller teams more money. There again it would give the bigger clubs more too.

Taking money out of the equation it would be fun to watch.
 

Mandieta6

Red Card - Life
Life Ban
Certainly hope this doesn't happen. It's just big clubs being greedy. I like things the way they are.
 

Sevillista

Starting XI
adedawson;3142467 said:
Interesting... this seems to go back to the TV Rights argument from before.

http://www.soccergaming.com/forums/showthread.php?t=171262

This would give smaller teams more money. There again it would give the bigger clubs more too.

Taking money out of the equation it would be fun to watch.
How would this give smaller teams more money? It kicks four of them out of the top flight, and those that remain have 8 fewer matches to play. Everything about this sounds like it would just make the top clubs richer, and it is potentially a stepping stone to them leaving their domestic leagues altogether.

Also, how would the Champions League look with so many more clubs? It's not really prestigious anymore if half of each league is playing in it.

I agree with reducing international friendlies, but can federations really afford to pay player wages during tournaments?
 

ShiftyPowers

Make America Great Again
How many teams go out before the Group Stage? If you want a bigger champions league, use actual champions, not Everton.
 

adedawson

Senior Squad
Sevillista;3142677 said:
How would this give smaller teams more money? It kicks four of them out of the top flight, and those that remain have 8 fewer matches to play. Everything about this sounds like it would just make the top clubs richer, and it is potentially a stepping stone to them leaving their domestic leagues altogether.

I meant the teams outside of the top 4 of the league or top 2 in Spains case. It would give them more money to compete but, as mentioned it would make the top teams richer too, so no difference there.
 
Remember the pre 2000 Champions League? The groups used to be great.
1999 Group of Death: Barca, Bayern, Brondby, Man Utd.
 

Sevillista

Starting XI
adedawson;3142757 said:
I meant the teams outside of the top 4 of the league or top 2 in Spains case. It would give them more money to compete but, as mentioned it would make the top teams richer too, so no difference there.
How would it give them more money? The ones that qualify for the new CL would, I suppose, but the rest would make less money due to playing fewer matches and being more likely to be left out of the top flight.
 
S

Sir Calumn

Guest
If anything I think the CL should get smaller, not bigger. Having even four teams from some leagues kind of takes away from the idea that it's 'for champions'

Also the Spanish would have no problem cutting their league one to 16 because the standard in the bottom half is so so poor, but to expect the EPL to do is is completely different, in truth there are now about 30 teams in England who are top division quality by european standards and getting promoted and remaining in the EPL is already incredibly tough. I think part of this is Spanish jealously at how much better the EPL is to La Liga and a desire to damage it.
 
S

Sir Calumn

Guest
Also clubs claim they lose out through international matches but just look at how much scouting is done at and how many players are picked up from International Tournaments. Also if Spain's success hasnt contributed to Barca and Real's success of late, and vice versa, then I'm a dutchman.
 

adedawson

Senior Squad
Sevillista;3142984 said:
How would it give them more money? The ones that qualify for the new CL would, I suppose, but the rest would make less money due to playing fewer matches and being more likely to be left out of the top flight.

Yes i'm talking about the qualify teams... but as i pointed out it would make no difference because the top teams would get more money too. Nothing would balance and as you pointed out the lower teams would suffer too.
 

Sevillista

Starting XI
Sir Sir_Didier_Drogba;3143164 said:
If anything I think the CL should get smaller, not bigger. Having even four teams from some leagues kind of takes away from the idea that it's 'for champions'

Also the Spanish would have no problem cutting their league one to 16 because the standard in the bottom half is so so poor, but to expect the EPL to do is is completely different, in truth there are now about 30 teams in England who are top division quality by european standards and getting promoted and remaining in the EPL is already incredibly tough. I think part of this is Spanish jealously at how much better the EPL is to La Liga and a desire to damage it.
LOL, wow. English bias much? The Spanish bottom teams are no worse than the English bottom teams, and nobody in Spain is jealous of the quality in the EPL, maybe just the money.

Sir Sir_Didier_Drogba;3143165 said:
Also clubs claim they lose out through international matches but just look at how much scouting is done at and how many players are picked up from International Tournaments. Also if Spain's success hasnt contributed to Barca and Real's success of late, and vice versa, then I'm a dutchman.
Barcelona's success has definitely helped the Spanish national team, but it is ridiculous to think that the little time those players have had on the national team has made Barcelona better.
 


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