Agnelli as european cup reformer – fc bayern between fronts

Agnelli as european cup reformer - fc bayern between fronts

A power struggle over the future of the champions league is raging between europe’s super-rich top clubs and their own professional leagues – and karl-heinz rummenigge is caught between the fronts with bayern munchen.

While the bayern boss, out of loyalty to the german soccer market, performs one verbal egg dance after another on the explosive topic of the kings’ league, andrea agnelli of juventus turin is pursuing a tough confrontation course that is causing massive discord among europe’s soccer elite.

As rummenigge’s successor at the helm of the european club association (ECA), the ice-cold juve boss is pushing ahead with a champions league reform that is disastrous for the top clubs. The league associations around the german fubball league and the english premier league are forming a protest against the idea of a european royal league in the guise of the u.S. Professional leagues, with no possibility of promotion or relegation and with games played on weekends sacred to national competitions. Such a model is to be decided already in the autumn, it was to come into force in five years.

Before the meeting of the representatives of the european leagues this tuesday in madrid to discuss the situation, the conflict escalated for the first time with provocative agnelli statements. "I can only assume that at this meeting further accusations and misunderstandings will be put forward to preserve the status quo, without any attempt to understand the strategy and vision that the ECA and UEFA are shaping from their collective contribution," agnelli wrote in a letter to ECA members obtained by the german press agency.

Indirectly, he urged club representatives not to attend madrid meeting. And if it does: don’t make any public comments afterwards. The management of the european leagues (EPL) could not accept this muzzle. "With rough confidence i say that the rough majority of clubs do not support the development that the ECA president outlines in his letter," said EPL president lars-christer olsson after a meeting with 244 clubs in madrid. "They don’t want promotion and relegation, they don’t want a pyramidal system, they don’t want closed leagues."On wednesday, a meeting with UEFA boss aleksander ceferin is scheduled in nyon to clarify the leagues’ point of view.

Rough enough are the clubs, but some are a dilemma as they are committed to both national leagues and ECA interests. This applies to bayern or borussia dortmund, as well as to the top clubs in england, where tradition and commerce make the premier league a model of success. "I love the bundesliga. But one must be ready for compromise in the dialogue with others naturally. You can turn against everything and use, but in the last consequence you are then no longer with it. That can’t be in our interest either," said borussia managing director watzke.

Rummenigge, like agnelli, has the same uneasy feeling these days. Like the turin-boss, the bayern-boss has to watch idly, how in liverpool and amsterdam the candidates for the konigsklasse-throne are determined. The national titles are not enough for the serial champions from germany and italy to understand themselves. Those who can’t compete in the champions league in the long term are in danger of being left behind.

Unlike agnelli, who no longer has any serious national competition in italy and urgently needs to tap new markets in order to sell his soccer product at a high price worldwide, rummenigge always has to keep an eye on the bread-and-butter business of the bundesliga. "If i’m asked, i’ll stand up for the german way," he promised on sky.

Rummenigge apparently doesn’t have much hope that a champions league in the super league format can be permanently prevented. "I do believe that in germany a lot of arguments are based on tradition. It’s different in other countries. There is more from a business point of view on the fubball looked."

Agnelli is the driving force. In march, he and UEFA for the first time discussed concrete ideas for a new national league for the new marketing cycle starting in 2024. Competition is to be organized in a three-stage model. Once you’re in, it’s hard to get out again. This economic predictability in a billion-dollar business pleases the fiat scion agnelli. "We are the ones who have to plan, we are the ones who have to invest. To run a business, you need a complete overview," he said.

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