European Leagues to reject UEFA proposal for weekend Champions League games

4 April 2019

Juventus
Photo: Getty Images Champions League at the weekends is the hot topic of debate at the European Leagues 38th General Assembly at the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon on Friday. UEFA's radical plans could mean that Juventus and Atletico Madrid would have been played Saturday evening instead of Tuesday.

Leagues’ officials meet in Lisbon to discuss new revenue distribution model and weekend matches in UEFA club competitions.

Discussions also taking place on revenue distribution model for the 2021-24 cycle.

Nikolaj Babis Nielsen contact@offthepitch.com

Champions League at the weekends? No thank you says the European Leagues, which represents the interests of 35 professional football leagues and associations of clubs from 28 countries, numbering more than 900 clubs.

UEFA’s radical plans for an overhaul of European football from 2024 have raised concerns among the continent’s domestic leagues after proposals were mooted to play Champions League and Europa League matches at the weekends. It follows talks between European football’s governing body and the European Club Assoication last week.

It will devalue domestic football which drives the passion of fans

The issue is set to be the hot topic of debate at the European Leagues 38th General Assembly at the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon on Friday.

”We will always protect our weekends. We will not allow European club competition to be played at weekends,” European Leagues deputy general secretary Alberto Colombo told Reuters.

“The passion of football fans is driven by local football and by their tradition to go to the stadium with family and friends on Saturday and Sunday,” he said, dismissing the idea of giving the big European clubs guaranteed spots in UEFA competitions rather than them earning their places by topping their leagues

“It will devalue domestic football which drives the passion of fans,” he said.

The revenue distribution model for the 2021-24 cycle is not yet approved. The European Leagues are calling for solidarity payments for clubs who don’t qualify for European competition to be increased from the 7.3 per cent to 20 per cent.