Friday, March 24, 2023

Everybody is against Super League revival, says ECA chairman Al-Khelaifi

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 29 Mar 2022

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The proposed European Super League project will not be revived, according to chairman of the European Club Association Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

After trying to set up a breakaway competition last year, a number of Europe’s top clubs were left red-faced when forced to shelve the plans just 72 hours later after widespread backlash within the game.

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus remain determined to resurrect the concept, but Al-Khelaifi has questioned that possibility.

All 12 founding Super League clubs quit the ECA in April before the quick collapse of the new competition amid supporter protests and opposition from governing bodies, though nine (Milan, Arsenal, Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, Inter, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham) were eventually welcomed back after backtracking.

Speaking at a media conference at the ECA general assembly in Vienna on Tuesday, the chairman was asked about the potential threat of another Super League attempt, and responded sharply: “The non-Super League, it doesn’t exist. Not the first, not the second.

“Everybody is against it. From the fans, media, clubs, small and big clubs. There are three only [who want a Super League] and the strange thing is they are also now enjoying playing UEFA club competitions.

“If they are enjoying it, that means they are playing in the best competitions, so I don’t think there is a potential for them to do something like [resurrect the Super League proposal].

“Here at the ECA, we found our unity in 2021 – how we’ll be together, working as one family and looking after each other. I think that’s the main goal and we’ve done it.

“Now we’re looking at the potential and what we can do in 2022, one of these is the increased value of UEFA competitions, proving at every single angle that [the three clubs are] wrong and that we’re going to grow bigger and bigger.”

Al Khelaifi – who is president of Paris Saint-Germain – also reiterated the ECA’s position on FIFA’s proposals for biennial World Cups.

“As you know, the position of the ECA is it’s against it, and we will stand against it always,” he clarified. “For us, it’s not an idea, basically, so I don’t think we need to discuss it even.”

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