The UEFA Champions League, European football’s most prestigious club competition, could be set for a gigantic overhaul with the European Club Association (ECA) and the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) threatening to take over control of the competition unless UEFA sorts out its power struggle.
Rumors are rife that there is a major raft growing between ECA and UEFA as many of Europe’s top clubs and leagues want more part in decision making on UEFA’s executive board, which they currently believe lacks proper representation.
The ECA and EPFL have warned UEFA that if they do not deal with the issue on hand, they are considering breaking away from them and forming their own version of the Champions League, which they plan to call the European League Championships.
If the ECA and EPFL do go through with their threats, it will be one of the biggest splits in the history of club competitions. The Champions League was so re-branded in 1992 but that looks to be a changing theme if UEFA do not look into the matter.
The ECA and EPFL have previously clashed with both UEFA and FIFA regarding the number of international friendlies in the football calendar year. They believe that the majority of the friendlies being staged are not worth the effort and are a huge risk to the clubs that have to let go of the players and take the risk of them reporting back injured.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the President of ECA and Bayern Munich chairman, has so far led the protests alone but the EPFL might well be joining him as they have an executive committee meeting in Poland on Thursday to discuss the matter.
201 clubs are currently represented by the ECA and while their desire to reduce the number of international friendlies remains, this current demand to have more of a say in decision making matters might prove to be a huge thorn in UEFA’s and Michel Platini’s organization.