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The ECA want Champions League football on Sundays


The ECA (European Clubs Association) is a derivative of what was in its day called the G-8, which former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz helped to create in his better days. A lobbying organisation which has forced UEFA to modify its competitions to give more importance to the richest clubs from the richest countries. That's how, little by little, we've ended up with the current version of the Champions League, attended by almost a quarter of the clubs from leagues such as ours, while the champions from other countries have to pass various hurdles to get in, something they rarely do. They have to make do with the Europa League, which also ends up receiving the Champions League failures, who tend to end up winning it. See Atlético Madrid last year.

The ECA, more or less the IBEX 35 or FTSE 100 of European football, has generously opened itself up to the big boys in the less important countries, and now has 232 members. Obviously they are bossed around by just a few, with the newly arrived being told to stand in line for a pepsi-cola, but they feel happy to be in the exclusive club, which distances them, each in their own country, from the rabble, which are all the rest of the clubs. If you're not in the ECA you're a pariah, so there are lots desperate to get in, simply to be happy yes-men. This group threatens UEFA, and its president Ceferin, a feeble type who spends his life obsessing about FIFA, and who therefore has the potential to grant any concession.

Right now something pretty serious is being demanded: the weekends. The idea is that from the quarter-finals onwards in the Champions League the matches will be played on Saturdays and Sundays, moving domestic matches to the weekdays. That would give the IBEX-232 clubs more money (to be precise, the big boys in the ECA) to the detriment of those who don't make the cut. It's a reflection of the world that's coming: a group of privileged clubs, a few useful idiots who help them out, while the rest can only watch from the sidelines and accept the new world order. My hope is that the English, who love their Premier League so much (like everything else that's theirs) put a stop to this insane initiative.