On Saturday, 24th April, Football Supporters Europe (FSE) hosted an online meeting with more than 50 fans’ representatives from 17 European nations.
The purpose of the meeting was to reflect on the role played by fans in the demise of the super league, while also providing an opportunity to discuss collective action in the coming months and years to change football for the better. The discussion largely focused on the events of the previous week, as well as ongoing efforts to reform UEFA club competitions.
After a brief overview of the situation from FSE, groups from AC Milan, Arsenal, Atlético Madrid, FC Barcelona, Liverpool, and Manchester United explained how they had mobilised their respective fanbases to thwart the breakaway scheme and hold their clubs to account.
With the super league all but dead and buried, attention soon turned to the new UEFA Champions League format, which will come into effect from the 2024/25 season onwards. Attendees expressed serious concerns about the expanded tournament, arguing that it replicates many of the more problematic aspects of the super league, and as such, places the whole football pyramid at risk.
That said, UEFA’s announcement that “potential adjustments to the format…could still be made if necessary” was welcomed.
It was agreed that fans’ groups should oppose all attempts to impose more European games and qualification based on historic performance. Moreover, there was a general understanding that the revenue distribution system must be made more equitable for both participating and non-participating clubs.
The FSE Board values the extensive feedback offered by members before and during the meeting. This will form the basis of FSE’s updated policy and strategy for the future of European football, which will complement the analysis and proposals set out in our March 2021 position paper on UEFA club competitions.
As ever, FSE remains ready to engage with UEFA and other stakeholders on the topics of club competitions reform, structured dialogue, and wider regulation of the game.