Why aren’t Conference League champions in Super Cup? What do they get for winning tournament?
Roma, the current holders of the new UEFA club competition, don’t get to play in the European curtain-raiser in Helsinki on Wednesday.
The UEFA Super Cup is one of the most traditional competitions on the European football scene. In the fixture, the winners of the Champions League and Europa League face off to decide which team is better, and, incidentally, lift the first continental trophy of the new season.
Why don’t the Conference League winners play in the Super Cup?
One question surrounding the Super Cup is the absence of Roma, the reigning UEFA Conference League champions. José Mourinho’s team became the first team to lift the trophy last season, but that didn’t earn them a ticket to the Super Cup, which is to be contested by Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday.
That’s because the European club season’s curtain-raiser is only open to the champions of UEFA’s top two men’s club competitions. As the continent’s third-tier tournament, the Conference League doesn’t get a berth. Not for the moment, at least; European soccer’s governing body reportedly has plans to change this.
According to French newspaper L’Équipe, UEFA is considering kicking off future campaigns with a four-team competition held before the start of the Champions League season, with the winners of Europe’s elite club trophy - but not the Europa League holders - taking part alongside “three top clubs”.
This would have a direct influence on the Super Cup, as the European champions would vacate their spot in the fixture - and it would be filled by the Conference League winners, who as of 2024 would face off against whoever claims the Europa League title.
What does the Conference League champion win?
Another issue that comes up when talking about winners is the prizes they receive when they lift a trophy - particularly in Europe, where the rewards are so succulent. In the case of the Conference League, Roma benefited in two ways after their final triumph in 2021/22.
Firstly, the Italians won a place in the Europa League for the coming season. Secondly, the Giallorossi were paid €5 million ($5.1 million), with runners-up Feyenoord pocketing €3m ($3.1m).
Here’s a breakdown of the prize money available in the UEFA Conference League: