Juventus president, and chairman of the influential European Clubs Association, Andrea Agnelli has distanced himself from proposals that would see the formation of a European Super League.
Reports in Italy last week suggested that Agnelli had met with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez to go over plans to set up a rival tournament to the Champions League. However, the Italian has spoken out in favour of the more inclusive reforms UEFA are planning for their competition in 2024:
“Increase the stability and participation, keep access from the domestic level, competitions at the European level should be open to all. So we as the managers of the industry, we must keep the dream alive, which is one of the mantras of our history, everything should be based on sporting matters, of sporting merit, but that we should remember where the fans of the future are going, so there is a strong view that more European matches are welcome.”
“It is not just about England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, but we must embrace also the lower competitions, guarantee an adequate European representation but at the same time offer stability of participation. Stay ahead of new competitors in the changing media environment and respect and nurture the interests of domestic championships.”
The introduction of a Super League could have proven disastrous for Celtic, as it would have resulted in a closed shop for Europe’s elite clubs. While Agnelli’s comments don’t necessarily rule out such a tournament still going ahead, it does hint that the Juventus chief is more open to staying inside UEFA than previously believed.
One of the possible reasons for this is that FIFA have recently threatened to ban players from featuring in their tournaments if they do take part in breakaway leagues outside of the control of the ruling authorities. This story will, though, likely run and run.