The past few days have been hectic, to say the least, so we wanted to provide you with an update on our latest efforts to oppose the super league and UEFA club competitions reform.
We have been in close contact with national fans’ associations throughout, as well as fans’ groups from affected clubs. We stand in solidarity with those who have been betrayed by their owners and commend their robust response and campaigning.
Last Thursday, we sent an open letter to then-ECA chairman Andrea Agnelli signed by 19 fans’ groups whose clubs sit (or, in some cases, sat) on the ECA Board. The signatories urged Agnelli to drop his “reckless plans” to expand the Champions League and called on football’s governing bodies to “stop making concessions to elite clubs and intervene to protect the future of the game.”
This plea, as you are no doubt aware, fell on deaf ears, with Agnelli leading the charge of the breakaway 12. In response, we published a statement condemning the plot, appealing for the powers that be to “act immediately”, first, by “imposing sanctions on breakaway clubs”, and second, by “scrapping proposals to reform UEFA club competitions.” This echoed many of the sentiments expressed in January, when over 140 groups from 16 countries signed a statement denouncing the super league as “an unpopular, illegitimate, and dangerous scheme in the eyes of the overwhelming majority of fans.”
Unfortunately, on Monday, UEFA rubber-stamped proposals to expand (36 teams), alter the format of (Swiss Model), and change access requirements to (qualification based on historic performance) the Champions League. We responded by pointing out the connection between this reform and the super league, demanding an end to the “cycle of endless concessions” to elite clubs. Our response emphasised the need to reset the reform process and “establish a meaningful consultation mechanism that incorporates all stakeholders, including fans and their representatives.”
And after Tuesday night’s debacle, we issued a statement summarising all of the above, arguing that all stakeholders should “push for meaningful reform of the game’s governance structures, so that fans are involved in big decisions and club cartels can no longer act with impunity.”
In between, we also tried to fulfil as many media requests as possible, while still focusing on important work behind the scenes. The Board met yesterday to discuss next steps and overall strategy.
We know the coming weeks and months will present yet more challenges, but we are determined to fight for a more equal, competitive, and sustainable football—one with fans at its heart.
To this end, we’ll be hosting an online forum on UEFA club competitions reform for members this Saturday (24th April) from 19:00-21:00. Participants will be briefed on the latest developments and will have the opportunity to discuss further joint action. FSE members can register to attend here.