Why is UEFA considering a new Super Cup format which would include MLS champions?
In what is surely to be a divisive move if it comes to fruition, UEFA is looking to increase its market share in the U.S.A.
Though many will argue that it’s not the squeaky wheel that needs fixing, Europe’s governing body of football seems intent on inviting American teams to play against their continental champion.
UEFA explores American participation in new Super Cup format
As first reported by The Guardian, American teams could soon be pitted against the UEFA Champions League winners in what appears to be a revamped Super Cup, that is under consideration by Europe’s footballing body. Indeed, with what have been referred to as ‘substantive discussions,’ football fans could soon get to see a four-team season opening event which would replace the traditional UEFA Super Cup. As for who would participate, there would of course be the standard two teams between the Champions League winners and the Europa League winners, however, they would now be joined by Europa Conference League winners and the winners of Major League Soccer.
Considered the key growth market for European football, the United States is actually the main location up for discussion with the idea being to include the aforementioned MLS champions as the ‘host team.’ Underpinning the idea, is the fact that UEFA’s latest English-language U.S. broadcasting rights deal has seen a %150 increase on the previous contract. What’s more, is that there is even greater revenue expected from the sale of Spanish-language rights, which of course is a major second langue in the United States.
Why is UEFA considering including MLS Champions in the Super Cup?
When all is said and done, this is really about growth of the market. While there is nothing set in stone, it’s now quite clear that UEFA is seriously interested in scheduling matches outside of Europe. The focus here, would be to drive greater revenue not just to participating clubs, but European football itself. How you may ask? Simply by increasing audience numbers with a specific focus on families and female fans. As we have seen in the NFL, with games in London, there are real benefits to taking the show on road. It is understood, that UEFA have been considering whether to play matches during weekend festivals or even to include pop acts during halftime. Once again, it should be said that nothing has been finalized, however, further talks are expected at the European Club Association’s general assembly in Istanbul on Thursday and Friday.