Friday, 11 December 2020

UEFA asked to double amount it pays to clubs who fail to qualify for European competition


Uefa has been asked to double the amount it pays out to clubs who fail to qualify for European competition as part of proposals intended to reduce financial inequalities in the continent's football.

Four per cent of the revenue from European club competition is currently distributed to clubs who do not take part, in what are known as solidarity payments.

However, the European Leagues umbrella body, which represents the continent's domestic leagues, said on Friday that it will propose this amount be increased to eight per cent during the period for 2021-24.

Uefa had predicted that the four per cent would be equivalent to around €130 million for the 2019/20 season although the estimate was made before the Covid-19 pandemic which has affected European football finances.

In an report to its members, European Leagues said it was concerned about the revenue gap between the biggest clubs and the rest, which it said was "increasing and accelerating."

"The trend points to greater dominance by a fewer number of clubs in many competitions," it said.

It also called on Uefa for a "genuine, open and structured process" when it resumes discussions over plans for European club competitions from 2024 onwards, having complained of a lack of consultation in previous talks.

Last year, Uefa and the European Club Association (ECA) put forward a plan to turn the Champions League into a semi-closed competition from 2024 onwards. It was eventually dropped amid strong opposition.

European Leagues president Lars-Christer Olsson said he was optimistic the discussions for 2024 onwards, which have been interrupted by the pandemic, would now be more transparent.

"We are convinced the process will be totally different from 2019," said Olsson. "That is a discussion which has to take place and has to involve everyone in European football."

Although there are frequent reports of plans to form a European Super League for the biggest clubs, Olsson said he did not take these seriously.

"There have been very clear statements from Uefa they are not going to admit a breakaway league and many clubs saying they are not interested in a private league," he said. "It's annoying having these reports pop up every three or four years."


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