CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Domestic leagues planning Champions League rebellion

The European Professional Football Leagues association is considering breaking its deal with Uefa over scheduling restrictions on domestic fixtures.

Domestic leagues planning Champions League rebellion

Imagine Arsenal playing Manchester United with the Premier League title in the balance on the same day and at the same time as Real Madrid and Bayern Munich faced off in the second leg of a Champions League semi-final final, in direct competition for television audience share…

At the moment that is unthinkable, and impossible – Uefa regulations prevent domestic fixtures from being televised at the same time as European games – but it could soon become a reality.

Changes to European qualifying format

Many of Europe’s domestic leagues are up in arms about the reform to continental competitions that from 2018-19 will hand more places to the strongest leagues and are planning a boycott of the competition. How? By scheduling domestic fixtures to coincide with European games, according to reports in the UK.

The proposal is to be discussed at the next meeting of the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL), to be held in Zurich on October 21.

"Memorandum of understanding broken"

“We believe that the memorandum of understanding has been broken. It was said that should be a thorough process of consultation, including with the domestic leagues, before any major changes were introduced to European competitions. And that has not happened,” said EPFL president Lars-Christer Olsson.

Olsson, who served as Uefa chief executive from 2003 to 2007, is the EPFL representative for the Allsvenskan.

Although the proposed rebellion is being mainly pursued by Europe’s secondary leagues, who stand to lose out under the proposed changes, the major divisions could take advantage of the situation by scheduling domestic games to coincide with European fixtures.