GLASGOW: The prospect of an ‘Atlantic league or cup’ has been resurrected by European clubs anxious that the new UEFA Champions League financial deal will shut them out of the elite for the forseeable future.
Clubs from countries including Denmark, Holland and Scotland have begun discussions in response to the European federation’s announcement in August of format changes from 2018, including guaranteeing a place for the top four clubs in the four top-ranked associations to leave only 16 spots for the rest of the continent.
The concept of a league or cup between clubs from the so-called ‘disadvantaged nations’ has been considered on several occasions previously but discarded because of costs and the effect on domestic leagues.
Anders Horsholt, FC Kobenhavn’s managing director, told local media:”If we don’t act now, we will see the biggest clubs grow bigger and stronger, while clubs like ours will have increasingly difficult terms.”
Horsholt suggested that teams playing in the new league might have to drop out of their domestic leagues.
BT said leading clubs from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium and Scotland – some of the countries most likely to suffer under the new Champions League plans – were participating in the talks.
Last week the organisation claiming to represent Europe’s domestic leagues (EPFL) refused to accept UEFA’s proposed changes and said such measures could lead to a private and closed league.