Before Liverpool – Real Madrid, the sporting balance is at the center of the controversy

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Liverpool defender Andy Robertson faces Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale in the Champions League final in Kyiv on May 26, 2018.


From Benzema, Kroos and Modric, the four-time winners of C1, to Mane, Salah, Firmino or Van Dijk, who crowned the Reds in 2019, many players will step into the Stade de France having already lifted Europe’s most prestigious trophies.

Above all, since 2011, Spanish (eight times) and English (seven times) clubs represent two-thirds of the Champions League finalists, far ahead of German teams (four times), Juventus Turin (two appearances) and Paris Saint-Germain in 2020.

We even have to go back to the crazy 2003-2004 campaign to find a winner outside the European Grand Slam, FC Porto, even if Ajax Amsterdam reach the semi-finals in 2019.

There is an undeniable focus on the most sought-after prizes, which goes hand in hand with widening economic gaps.”, summarizes Raffaele Poli, Head of the CIES Football Observatory in Neuchâtel.

Without a doubt, what “Charm” ?

Worth notingbetween tournaments“, since the English Championship”crush others“In terms of television rights, but also in every country, where”Big global brands that sell on a global scaleGripping the local competition.

The growing wealth of European competitions exacerbates the phenomenon, despiteSolidarity Payments“For non-participating clubs, further bloating the pockets of high-profile names and their ability to accumulate talent.

Under these circumstances, is C1 much different from the ephemeral?Premier LeagueA special project for a semi-closed tournament launched last year by twelve major clubs, including Liverpool and Real Madrid, before it collapsed in the face of public discontent?

The question is crucial for UEFA, which defends its own competition model.”opened“To justify its monopoly, but also to the many fans of European football, connected to the principle of sporting uncertainty as much as to the success of their favorite club.

But if Chief Justice Aleksandr Ceferin makescompetitive balance‘A major goal to maintain’game magic”, as of 2017, indications have been slow to emerge, and the topic was not brought up during the last conference in mid-May in Vienna.

Distribution negotiable

However, ideas have been circulating for years, from regulatory restrictions on numbers or transfers to “Better income distributionDerived from the European Games, recalls Rafael Poli.

keep dealing withA very strong scaler from the richest clubsThe economist adds, on which the C1’s allure is largely based and which makes any drastic reform unlikely.

Newly Renovated”Financial fair playIntroduced in 2010 will include from 2023 to 2024 a mild form ofsalary capAccording to the income of each club participating in the European Championships.

For the more prosperous teams, it will nevertheless be possible to pay salaries and shift commissions out of reach of a large part of the competition, or even pay any penalties.

There is no revolution to be expected from the new format of the Champions League after 2024, with the eight-day mini-tournament as the first stage, then the unchanged knockout stage.

Some critics even fear that the eight matches of the first stage (instead of six) will favor the big clubs a bit more, by decreasing the sporting stakes.

On the other hand, the future distribution of revenue – which has not yet been agreed upon – is highly contentious, especially as the increase in the number of matches makes C1 more lucrative than ever.


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