The heads of two of soccers top bodies clashed on Tuesday within their philosophies for the future of club competitions.
Andreas Agnelli, the Juventus chairman and president of the European Clubs Association (ECA), re-iterated intends to revamp European club competition by introducing a third tier below the Europa League and promoting a method of promotion through the pyramid, based exclusively on performance in Europe, not through domestic results.
His argument relies on the fact that Europes elite clubs will be eligible regardless of the system set up, whereas teams like Leicester and Celtic (just two of the examples he mentioned ) would benefit from having the capability to grow and grow within European competition rather than risk missing due to domestic operation or having to play with qualifiers every year because of a lower coefficient.
Whatever changes are brought, I dont believe they will change the participation of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or PSG, said Agnelli.
I believe what is important is developing a system that a team like Leicester, if they do neglect and enter the machine they could grow with it and not simply relegated to domestic relevance, thats what we ought to be looking at.
What is occurring today, unless you are a part of those 12 or 15 teams which participate practically every year, engaging in European competition isnt only winning the lottery, but is the new axis into a innovative system which lets you grow and possibly turn your brand to an international brand.
But, Lars-Christer Olsson, chairman of the Association of European Professional Football Leagues (European Leagues) believes qualification for European team competitions should be dependent upon national operation on a season-by-season foundation. The European Leagues dont think the ECAs suggestion could work and could in effect promote aclosed league.
Meritocracy for me should be sporting achievement, that needs to be reflected at the international competitions based on current achievement, said Olsson.
If people take the Premier League as an example and Leicester is a good example, I believe even Brighton ought to have the ability to win the Premier League and represent England at the Champions League for instance.
For me, it is not a problem that Real Madrid is winning the Champions League three times in a row if they are good enough. That is precisely what I mean by meritocracy. They are developing their soccer in order that they could beat anybody else and if Real Madrid are the group three years in a row, thats fine. But not if it is based on all the names previously. Its what they are currently delivering now which should find them be in global competitions.
Thats also what makes it interesting to the fans. It usually means that each season is intriguing as it comes to the qualification for the worldwide positions. And in my estimation which ought to be groups from year to year, in an ideal situation. And that is the area where Leicester comes , and where Brighton comes as well.
The couple both spoke at Leaders.
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