UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin has dismissed the idea of a European Super League, calling it a ‘meaningless idea’. Čeferin is speaking at the Financial Times Football Summit today, ahead of Juventus President Andrea Agnelli.
Agnelli will reportedly reintroduce the idea of the Super League when he speaks later today, something Čeferin still opposes. Speaking today, he was critical of the venture as a whole, calling a ‘non-football’ project:
“It’s not football, but let’s talk about it anyway. I am tired of this non-football project. The first time they launched him in the middle of the pandemic, now during the war: they live in a parallel world. While we work to save players in this situation, they want to relaunch this project. They can pay anyone to say it’s a nice project, but it remains a meaningless idea.
For them, fans are consumers, for us fans are fans. The interesting thing, moreover, is that they criticize UEFA and ECA, but one of them was president of ECA (Andrea Agnelli, ed.) And a week before the launch of the Super League he praised the present system. They can play their competitions, nobody forbids them. But if they want to play their competitions, they won’t be able to play ours.
The new Champions League is in the Super League style? No, it’s something completely different. There are things still to be clarified, so the final decision is not yet there. Today we have 32 teams in the Champions League, we will have 36 but we have yet to understand how to add four places. I wouldn’t compare the Super League situation with that of FIFA, with Fifa we talk every day. The bi annual World Cup is a project that nobody wants. We discussed it with Infantino and we are discussing it for other options, but I am sure we will find a solution.
Over the past two years, football and UEFA have faced situations that are impossible to believe. Starting from the pandemic, with the displacement of the Europeans and a great financial loss for UEFA, but if we had not moved it there would have been a huge loss across Europe of over €2 billion. During the pandemic, there were critical situations every day, between the positivity in the teams and the fans who could not enter the stadiums. In April 2021 came the Super League, then the discussions on that not so smart project convluded, we had to deal with the Europeans in 11 countries during the pandemic. Then the theme of the bi-annual World Cup and now the war in Ukraine, the most terrible situation that can happen, it does not concern football but football is involved. I can’t imagine what else will happen.
Nobody expected war to come to Europe today. We are doing things we don’t communicate. I was on the phone for 48 hours with players and coaches to help them get out of Ukraine. I spoke to all governments but nobody could guarantee security. Together with the Ukrainian Football Association and the neighboring Football Association we had to do it. It is difficult to explain how hard these conversations have been. It’s bigger than football and I’m proud of how much the football family is doing, some things we do are not public but we keep doing them. It’s difficult to say what will happen tomorrow, but this madness must end soon. Will Russia will be able to return to European football? Right now it is impossible to say. Our decision was the right one, it came unanimously from the Executive Committee, but it is impossible to say what will happen tomorrow. For now, let’s wait for peace to come.”