UEFA President: “Admirable to admit a mistake” after clubs abandon Super League plan

UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin said it was admirable to admit a mistake after the six Premier League clubs withdrew from the Super League and others are expected to follow.

“I said yesterday that it is admirable to admit a mistake and these clubs made a big mistake.”

“But they are back in the fold now and I know they have a lot to offer not just to our competitions but to the whole of the European game.”

“The important thing now is that we move on, rebuild the unity that the game enjoyed before this and move forward together,” he said.

European Super League statement

Following a meeting late on Tuesday, the European Super League issued a statement in which they said

“The European Super League is convinced that the current status quo of European football needs to change.

“We are proposing a new European competition because the existing system does not work. Our proposal is aimed at allowing the sport to evolve while generating resources and stability for the full football pyramid, including helping to overcome the financial difficulties experienced by the entire football community as a result of the pandemic. It would also provide materially enhanced solidarity payments to all football stakeholders.

“Despite the announced departure of the English clubs, forced to take such decisions due to the pressure put on them, we are convinced our proposal is fully aligned with European law and regulations as was demonstrated today by a court decision to protect the Super League from third party actions.

“Given the current circumstances, we shall reconsider the most appropriate steps to reshape the project, always having in mind our goals of offering fans the best experience possible while enhancing solidarity payments for the entire football community.”

New UEFA Champions League format

On Monday, UEFA approved a new format for the UEFA Champions League.

As from 2024/25, there will be a single league made up of all 36 competing clubs rather than the current 32.

Under the new format, teams will play four matches more than is currently the case. They will no longer play three opponents twice – home and away – but will instead face fixtures against 10 different teams, half of them at home and half of them away.

Qualification for the Champions League will continue to be open and depend on a club’s final position in the previous season’s domestic league competition. The additional four slots available in 2024/25 will be allocated according to three different criteria:

  • Slot one: awarded to a club from the country placed fifth in UEFA’s national association coefficient rankings. Each association’s coefficient is based on the results of its clubs’ performances in five previous Champions League and Europa League seasons.
  • Slot two: awarded to the domestic league champion with the highest club coefficient among all other domestic champions that have not automatically qualified for the Champions League’s league stage.
  • Slots three and four: awarded to the two clubs with the highest club coefficients that have not qualified automatically for the Champions League’s league stage, but have qualified either for the Champions League qualification phase or the Europa League/the Europa Conference League.

The results of each match will decide the overall ranking in the new league, with three points for a win and one for a draw still applying.

While the top eight teams will advance automatically to the round of 16, those sides placed between ninth and 24th will enter a play-off round. Those who finished between ninth and 16th will be seeded in the play-off draw, meaning they will face a team placed 17th to 24th – with home advantage in the second-leg match. Teams who finish 25th or lower will be eliminated, with no access to the UEFA Europa League.

The eight clubs who prevail in the play-offs will then progress to the round of 16 where they will each face one of the top-eight finishers.

From the round of 16 onward, the competition will continue to follow its existing format of knockout rounds leading to the final staged at a neutral venue selected by UEFA.