According to Michaël Verschueren, a member of the umbrella association of European top clubs, the clubs of the Super League can share the same amount of money among themselves as the Champions League generates today for the entire football family. ‘But they can’t set this up on their own. They have to go back to the table. ‘
‘Did I see this coming? Yes and no. It had been known for some time that a number of major European clubs were about to leave. But the timing leaves me perplexed. We had agreed on a reform of the current Champions League format on Thursday and Friday. Today it was going to be announced. It is no coincidence that the twelve clubs announced their initiative yesterday evening. They have clearly bet on two horses, ‘says Michaël Verschueren, member of the executive committee of the European Club Association (ECA), the umbrella association of European top clubs.
The reason for the impending schism in top football does not have to be far-fetched, according to Verschueren. ‘Why are the rebel clubs doing this? Especially for the money, I think. Their losses are huge. I read, they can divide 3.5 billion euros among themselves within their separate Super League. That is just as much as the Champions League yields today, with the difference that this amount is divided among the entire football family. ‘
Again round the table
However, Verschueren does not expect the soup to be eaten as hot as it is served. ‘This is day one of a new reality. With this announcement, the twelve clubs say: we are serious. But they cannot complete this on their own. For this they need the cooperation of the regulatory authorities such as Uefa and Fifa (who reject the Super League, ed.). So we are going to have to sit around the table again. When? Hopefully the most intense emotions will have subsided by next week. ‘
Verschueren has little insight into the requirements of the twelve clubs. Perhaps they will demand more certainty about participation in the renewed Champions League, which can yield up to 40 percent more in the new formula. And maybe the distribution keys for the TV money will be discussed again, yes. That some top clubs also want to waive the Financial Fair Play rules? I do not think so. Those Financial Fair Play rules are put on the back burner anyway due to corona. The most important thing now is that the clubs can refinance themselves. ‘