GENEVA: Juventus president Andrea Agnelli has warned that Europe’s top clubs must help lead a reform to make football’s competitions more attractive to fans.
Agnelli told the general assembly of the European Club Association,of which he is chairman, of the troubled discussions with European federation UEFA over expansion of the Champions League from 2027.
He said: “Football is at a crossroads. We have to change and offer the fans the best possible competition. Most likely, there are too many games that are not competitive, both nationally and internationally, and this does not attract fans’ interest.
“We cannot take them for granted – we have to offer them the best possible competition or we run the risk of losing them.
“The current system is not made for the modern era. Research shows that many traditional assumptions about fans must change and that at least a third of fans follow at least two teams; 10 per cent follow players, not clubs ”.
“The famous Generation Z have no interest in football at all.”
Agnelli said he expected that within a fortnight the UEFA executive committee could approve the reform of continental competitions before congress on April 20.
This could see a 36-team group stage with an as-yet-unspecified number of ‘wild card’ entries and a new system to guarantee clubs a minimum of 10 matches.
As for the game’s economy in the Covid era, Agielli assessed overall revenue losses across European clubs “as €6,500 and €8,500 million in the two seasons with some 360 top division clubs needing cash injections amounting to 6,000 million euros.”