BARCELONA: Javier Faus, vice-president of Barcelona, wants an expansion of the UEFA Champions League balanced by a cutback in the size of national top divisions.
Faus, finance director of the Spanish champions, said in an interview with Reuters that the club supported proposals being considered within UEFA to double the size of the Champions League from 32 to 64 clubs.
However, he maintained that such a move should not come at the expense of national leagues though these – ideally – should be reduced to 16 or 18 clubs.
“We want to see the Champions League expanded and at the same time national leagues should be reduced from 20 clubs down to 18 or even maybe 16,” said Faus. “We are not in favour of national leagues being eliminated as they are at the centre of fans’ hearts and I can’t imagine that ever happening.”
On the domestic front, Faus said talks are continuing over introducing a model of collective television rights selling in La Liga. The current system of individual deals means Barcelona and Real Madrid reap more than half of broadcast revenues.
This has been pinpointed as a key factor behind their stranglehold over Spanish football.
Faus said: “It is something that will change. Barca are leading a group of 30 or so clubs that want to have television rights consolidated into a pool like in the UK or Germany so as to have a more balanced distribution and make the league more competitive.
“It is something that would help us all but we shouldn’t forget that the interest in Spanish football around the world is because of Barca and Real Madrid. There will be a new distribution within the next year or two and we will have it in place by 2016.
“We are continuing to speak to other clubs, the league and the government. We are all on the same page, there are only a few differences.”