The chairman of Juventus, Andrea Agnelli, is also known as the head of the European Club Association. Agnelli has been pushing to change the format of the Champions League. Agnelli is pushing for turning the Champions League to a largely closed competition.
The initial proposal was drawn by the UEFA in conjunction with the ECA during the first quarter of this year. It proposes a three-tier pan European league that includes promotion and relegation between the divisions.
If the concept pushes through, the top tier would have been the new version of the Champions League. 24 out of the 32 football clubs will then be keeping their places until the following season. This just breaks the tradition of deciding the qualification through domestic competitions.
However, Agnelli raising this idea didn’t sit well with many, and so the push for this concept eventually faded. There was a widespread of opposition regarding the push for having more games between the biggest clubs during the Champions League.
The European League’s chairman Lars-Christer Olsson expressed that football should always be the main consideration when it comes to reformatting the UEFA competition and not the financial aspect of things.
He said, “The starting point has to be football and not the distribution of revenues. We have to remember that we are a sport first and foremost.”
Surely, when more games happen, not only the football money industry would mainly benefit from this. Even the sports betting industry would big changes in their soccer betting lines and this would just benefit that industry better than the athletes.
Another person who expressed his opinion is Marc Ingla who is the executive of the French club Lille. He said that he wanted more EU games. He said, “All clubs want more Europe and better Europe but not at the cost of losing access rights to these competitions, not at the cost of having a marginal portion of the revenue that can be generated or at the cost of giving even more means to the top clubs.”
Frank Lampard, Chelsea’s manager, recently shared his thoughts regarding this matter. He is actually urging more people in the industry to go against it if this concept still gets another push. This is because Agnelli is still hoping to have an expanded Champions League to get the teams to play more games and matches.
“At the minute. I think the level is about right,” was what Lampard told the reporters during an event organized by the European Leagues umbrella organization. The competition is good, we have the group stage, can we get through that. I like the format personally as a manager now.”
Lampard thinks that it is indeed to possible to play more European games, but he also thinks that the busy schedule of everybody will make the change tough and impossible for the players. It’s already a challenge for the players to keep the quality level of their games. It just doesn’t seem practical to change the format of the European games.
Lampard also said, “If you ask me, can we play more European games? I personally don’t know where you fit them in amongst our busy schedules. “I would find it hard with the players to keep the quality level and the freshness within them. So I think if we did do that, there’ll be a lot of discussion about how that works practically and at the minute — and as a player — I actually felt the level was quite about right. The competition was good.”
He also added, “We had the group stage, can we get through that? After Christmas, you know you are going into the real business end of the Champions League.”
Lampard surely has a soft spot for the League Cup. His team has won it a couple of times and it is, after all, the first competition where he won a championship. This happened with Chelsea in 2012 when he was still playing with the team.
Before becoming the manager of Chelsea, Frank James Lampard was also a player and one of the greatest midfielders of club Chelsea. It was on May 31, 2018, when Lampard was appointed as manager of Championship club Derby County for three years.
Fast forward to July 4, 2019, he became Chelsea’s manager and is also locked in for another three years. He replaced Maurizio Sarri and this is his first top-flight managerial role. With this, he became the first English manager to manage sides in more than two decades.
Currently, Chelsea is now at the third spot on this year’s Premier League. This means that the team is already qualified to go to the Champions League if their pace is kept until this season closes.