UEFA postpones Champions League talks as clubs, leagues row

August 16, 2019
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin and Ali Turganbekov, from Kazakhstan, right, hand the trophy to Liverpool’s team captain Jordan Henderson after Liverpool won the UEFA Super Cup.
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin and Ali Turganbekov, from Kazakhstan, right, hand the trophy to Liverpool’s team captain Jordan Henderson after Liverpool won the UEFA Super Cup.

Changes to the Champions League are unlikely to be decided this year after UEFA yesterday called off joint talks with the heads of European clubs and leagues who have spent months arguing over a potential radical overhaul of the formats of European competitions.

European Club Association (ECA) chairman Andrea Agnelli, who has been criticised for championing a largely closed Champions League, and European Leagues president Lars-Christer Olsson were due to jointly meet UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin on September 11.

"I have decided to postpone the meeting," Ceferin wrote to Agnelli and Olsson in a letter obtained by The Associated Press. "I will send a new invitation as soon as I think that we are ready for a meaningful discussion."

The letter was sent a day before the ECA executive board, led by Juventus chairman Agnelli, meets in private in Liverpool to discuss its vision for an overhaul of continent-wide club competitions from 2024. The third competition -- provisionally called Europa League Two -- is already due to launch in 2021.

"We are currently in the process of gathering feedback from our national associations," Ceferin wrote, "and I feel -- more generally -- that a new discussion now would be premature as we are analysing feedback and proposals coming from different parties."

The European Leagues group has fiercely opposed Agnelli's core idea of restricting access to the Champions League and Europa League, as have dozens of teams from across the continent who are members of the ECA.

Other Sports Stories