The reasons why
- European club competitions are not attractive enough throughout the year and are not achieving their full potential. Fans are losing interest, particularly younger fans and the data shows it: 40% of 16–24-year-olds do not like or have an interest in football. European Club Association, 2020
- Proposed reforms to existing competitions in 2024 will worsen the situation:The number of matches will increase significantly from 125 to 189, with the entire increase in match play taking place in an extended group stage prior to the final 16. Further, in this new group stage, there will no longer be home and away matches. UEFA, 2022
- Fan access to football, either live or remotely, is becoming prohibitively expensive. In many countries the cost of TV subscriptions are rising at an unacceptable rate. To reverse this trend the objective should be to generate more fan interest, thereby helping to moderate subscription prices.
- The current financial model of football is unsustainable. Controls on spending are insufficient and inadequately enforced.
- Clubs are not allowed to manage themselves at European level as they do in domestic competitions. UEFA has been the sole body governing European club competitions for nearly 70 years. Clubs have no voting rights in UEFA which has 55 members and are only indirectly represented by associations which have 2 of 20 seats on the UEFA Executive Committee. UEFA Statutes, 2021
- Solidarity payments are inadequate and not transparent. Current solidarity payments coming from European club competitions are inadequate and determined solely by UEFA, with little transparency as to the real grassroots impact.
- Investment in women’s football, fan experience and physical infrastructure is inadequate. Stadiums and training facilities for both the men’s and women’s game across Europe are not up to world class standards. In addition, fans do not have sufficient, affordable access to top-class matches either in person or at home.
- UEFA statutes effectively forbid clubs from working together to improve the system: A22’s argument before the European Court of Justice claims that articles 49 and 51 of the UEFA Statutes are in conflict with European Law. These articles state, respectively that UEFA “shall have the sole jurisdiction to organize or abolish international competitions in Europe in which Member Associations and/or their clubs participate” and “No combinations or alliances between UEFA Member Associations or between leagues or clubs affiliated, directly or indirectly, to different UEFA Member Associations may be formed without the permission of UEFA.” We firmly believe these statutes do not comply with European competition law and unfairly prevent clubs from cooperating to find new solutions to the problems facing the sport.
“European Club Football is facing existential problems.”