The bottom line of the matter is clear: the most powerful teams in Europe believe that they do not have enough profits from participating in the Champions League and that is why they tried to set up a dissidence, a parallel tournament that was crushed by UEFA. But that fight is far from over and now Real Madrid, the main driving force of the new championship only among the powerful, is charging forward.
What bothers you so much about the new format of the competition with which UEFA intends to appease the revolt of the teams that give it the most ratings and profits?
“UEFA managers are going in the opposite direction. They intend to reform the Champions League. This is not the solution. The rights to the 125 Champions League matches were currently being sold in Spain for 360 million. By 2024, 189 games have been sold for 320 million euros. 64 more games and 40 million euros less. This competition model will further distance fans from our sport. The new model that UEFA is preparing is not the one demanded by fans around the world, but rather the one that best fits the UEFA governance system,” Florentino Pérez said recently.
And what is this new model like? Bueno has more teams, more games and a format that aims to face powerhouses from the start. And isn’t it already happening? Yes and no.
There are more games and, although UEFA denied it, it will go from 6 games in the first phase to 8 games (four at home and four as visitors). There is more playing, which bothers the players’ unions, which already feel saturated. And also there will not be several groups but rather there will be a pyramid system of 8 crosses, so there will be no duels against the 35 clubs, and from that classification the teams that reach the playoffs will emerge.
Another point, the hype goes away: since there are no groups, they lose importance, they will only serve to determine the calendar. On the day of the draw there will still be four pots with nine teams in each of them. “Pot 1 will no longer be exclusively for the champions of the most important leagues, but for the teams with the highest coefficient in European competitions in the last five years (today they are City, Bayern, Real Madrid, PSG, Liverpool, Chelsea, United, Inter Milan and Leipzig, although it is difficult for them all to qualify for the next Champions League),” explained the As de España newspaper. That is to say, the powers will not have preferences, which is what Florentino Pérez was looking for with his frustrated Super League.
Another change is that the two leagues with the highest coefficient in the UEFA ranking from the previous season will have an extra place, with which Spain, England, Italy or Germany would have five places: today those additional places are from Turkey (8,750) and Belgium (8,400).
According to the plan, the two remaining places will be one for the club classified in third place in the federation championship in fifth position in the UEFA ranking (France would now gain one place and go from 3 to 4 fixed). In addition, another will be for a national champion, although from a competition that is not one of the big five leagues, expanding from four (now) to five the number of clubs that enter through the so-called champions route.
And with all that, the powers feel that they could make more money. The problem is that UEFA has already shown that it will crush any attempt at rebellion even if it has to go to court. Florentino knows it, but a new fight is not ruled out.