Bernd Reichart, the new CEO of the company at the heart of the European Super League project A22 Sports, believes the new project ‘could be in place by 2024/25 season.’ The project was largely met with derision and anger when first announced in April 2021 with many fans of potential ‘founder’ members protesting at stadiums around Europe.
Nine of the projects twelve ‘founding’ members went on to withdraw from the project, leaving just Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Speaking to Tuttosport, Reichart outlined the future of the project as it stands before expanding on how he sees the new European Super League impacting football:
First of all, I must say that I have received encouraging reactions in the first 48 hours of my appointment. The football world has appreciated our open approach to honest and fair confrontation in which I try to focus attention on what is happening to European football, transformations that can make it less relevant at world level and impoverish the clubs.
The clubs that, ultimately, are the ones taking the economic risks and therefore have the right to be able to define their future, without being subjected to it.
Then I talk about the economic sustainability of our ecosystem, which is becoming an increasingly serious problem and, finally, I dwell on the problem of the governance of European football, which must be up to the difficult challenges it is facing.
The climate of threats and sanctions, immediately put in place by UEFA and some governments, had prevented us from setting up a meeting. Then today we present ourselves with an evolution of that project, with an open tournament and a completely different approach.
In the meantime, the criticism of those opposed to an alternative competition was based on misconceptions that we are here today to clarify. And the consensus towards something new has increased, because many realise the problems that the football world is experiencing, exacerbated by the pandemic.
There is a growing and palpable awareness of the need for reform in the world of football. And we propose our ideas, ready to give them shape together with our stakeholders.”
New format? No, we have our own idea, which is based on an open tournament, with relegations and promotions, that could be more attractive for the public, more involving and better spendable at a global level. But we are here to listen, to analyse everyone’s ideas and not to impose a format, but to build it together.
A European Union championship? The regulations within which we move are those of the Union, so yes, it could also be defined that way, but ours is an inclusive model, so there are no preclusions of any kind.
Will we talk to Ceferin? Of course. Well, if he wants to of course. At the moment we have sent him a letter that he has received and he has let it be known that he will respond in due course. We’ll wait.
And with Infantino? Certainly. We will talk to everyone who cares about the future of European football, which is also a cultural issue. Football is the only truly global sport in the world.
It was born in Europe and expanded everywhere during the last century, now it faces a crisis of interest, especially with the younger generation.
We can ignore it, but the result is that European football will end up becoming less and less relevant and Europe itself will lose an important element of its culture.
Few challenges between big clubs, an unattractive television product in the first phase in which there are too many matches useless for qualification purposes and too much predictability in the first phase. Flaws that the Champions League reform does not correct, but if anything amplifies.
Florentino Perez, Andrea Agnelli and Joan Laporta.? They started the discourse a year and a half ago, putting the problems of football on the table, and despite threats and criticism, even fierce criticism, they are still here to shoulder their responsibility as the clubs that lead European football, trying to improve it and take it into the future.
That will be my, our goal in the coming months. We will see what the decision of the European Court will be and we will be ready.
I am convinced that it will be done, for the good and survival of football. On the timing I can’t make a precise prediction, but I think we can’t assume a start before the 2024-25 season.”