For a commitment to stability

The newspaper The team unveiled this week the competition format that the UEFA will raise the big clubs so that the Champions League remain the highest level tournament in European football. These are not, as in previous modifications, small changes related to the access routes, the quotas per country or the previous rounds. This time it is a total revolution that would completely transform the face of the first phase, with a league without group divisions and in which everyone would share the same classification without facing all of the opponents. It’s hard for me to appreciate it because I’ve never experienced anything like it. I suppose it will seem unfair to me that a team has a more benevolent draw and corresponds to a less demanding schedule than another rival with whom it will compete for a place in the table and which will have had to face a stronger opposition. But at this point, I cling to almost any avenue that avoids reaching the Superliga and, with it, to the breakdown of the pyramidal and interconnected structure of football.

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Bayern celebrate the Champions League title.
MIGUEL A. LOPES (AFP)

What I would like is that, if this restructuring is finally signed, a stability compromise be reached. We cannot be witnessing blackmail every three years, threats from the greats to leave to organize their garden and negotiations at the last minute in which UEFA gives in to their claims to avoid the debacle. European football needs all its members to be able to compete and plan without the uncertainty of not knowing if their national championships will be economically viable in the future or if they are in danger of falling into a marginalization that compromises their subsistence. The new Champions, if it is finally born, has to unlink each renewal of television rights from a rethinking of the mechanics of the competition. We cannot spend our lives fighting office battles that distract us from what is important, which is what happens on the grass: who wins, who loses, who makes history, who dreams, who enjoys.

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