Last week, an FSE-led delegation met with UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin.
We are hopeful that the meeting represents the beginning of a new, more mutually beneficial chapter in the relationship between fans and the governing body. As UEFA stated in their own press release:
“[Wednesday marked] a new drive by UEFA to engage more formally with fans’ groups and discuss issues of importance to them. It is one of several steps being undertaken by UEFA to build a direct stakeholder relationship with fans and offer increased communication lines for consultation on areas around the governance of football and issues affecting fans across Europe.”
In the coming months, we will work to define the terms of this relationship, as well as potential areas of collaboration, from safe standing and away fans’ rights to structured dialogue and the future of European club competitions.
The fallout from and lessons of the Super League debacle were, as you might expect, discussed at great length, with insightful contributions provided by fans’ representatives from England and Spain, who attended at the invitation of Mr. Čeferin. We reiterated our belief that the fight against breakaway leagues is by no means over. Indeed, the only effective safeguard against copycat schemes is for UEFA and national football associations to devise and implement robust rules and sanctions to curtail the power and ambitions of offending clubs.
We also expressed our firm opposition to UEFA’s reform of the Champions League, which threatens to undermine the principles of sporting merit and open competition, while also increasing the gap between and within domestic leagues. We therefore welcome Mr. Čeferin’s commitment to review the proposals and will continue to push for fans’ representatives to be involved in any discussions to this end.
As always, we are interested to know what you think, so if you have any questions or comments, email info[at]fanseurope.org.