Big clubs want to take Champions League games outside Europe?

This week there will be a gathering of the European Club Association (European Club Association – ECA), which represents the interests of most clubs regularly competing in European cups (apart from the association are Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus, which promote the Superleague). At the meetings, the last periods in club football are summed up and the development and future of football are discussed.

The Athletic, specifically Sam Crafton and David Ornstein, report that one of the directions that many important activists of the largest European clubs want to take is to transport, inter alia, Champions League matches outside Europe. One of the leaders of the idea is Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, president of Paris Saint-Germain, president of the ECA and a member of the UEFA Executive Committee.

The basis of the idea is the possibility of increasing revenues from the games and bringing clubs closer to their fans from other continents. For now, the United States, China and the Middle East are indicated as destinations to play outside of Europe. Initially, the group stage meetings are also considered rather than the most important clashes in the knockout stages.

For today, this is just an idea on which talks are starting, not a solution that will definitely be implemented. Activists expect great opposition from fans and are currently wondering how to convince the community to such a movement. ECA research shows that as many as 34% of fans from China and 28% of fans from the United States became interested in European football thanks to the Champions League. Activists now want to take advantage of this.

UEFA sources emphasize that talking about ideas does not hurt anyone and that after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, any solutions that generate more revenue are worth analyzing. UEFA itself is already working on a summer season-opening tournament that would take place outside of Europe and of which more you can read in this article.

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