FSE Pens Open Letter To ECA Chairman Andrea Agnelli
Football Supporters Europe pens open letter to European Clubs Association (ECA) Chairman, Andrea Agnelli calling for UEFA Champions League changes to the scrapped.
Plans for a restructure of Europe’s premier club competition have caused uproar around Europe with the new format planned for 2024 that will see the competition go from 32 teams to 36 and the current group phase scrapped, and replaced with a first round where each team plays 10 matches.
Voicing their opposition to the plans, the FSE’s open letter read:
Our groups represent fans of clubs that sit on the ECA Board.
We are writing to you on behalf of them and millions of others across the continent who you have chosen to ignore in your attempt to takeover European football.
Your plans to restructure the Champions League by increasing the number of games, introducing qualification based on past achievements, and monopolising commercial rights present a serious threat to the entire game. Instead of realising your supposed goal of “building a successful, sustainable, and socially responsible football industry”, you will only make the gap between the rich and the rest bigger, wreck domestic calendars, and expect fans to sacrifice yet more time and money.
All for the benefit of whom?
A handful of already wealthy clubs, investment firms, and sovereign funds, none of which have the legitimacy to decide how football should be run. Even most ECA members stand to lose out from the proposed reforms.
Such a blatant power grab would be indefensible at the best of times, but at the height of a global pandemic, it is nothing more than crisis profiteering—not to mention a stark contrast to the solidarity displayed by fans. Over the past year, we have supported our clubs unconditionally, buying season tickets with no hope of attending games, and paying for TV subscriptions to watch repetitive ties held in empty, soulless stadiums, all while you were working behind the scenes to find new ways to bleed us dry.
But we do not have the time or money to invest in your fantasies or fund your insatiable greed. And in the end, we are your business model. Despite the expectations of some, there is no “fan of tomorrow” waiting to come off the bench to rescue your plans.
We are the fans of today, and we do not want more European games. We want strong, competitive domestic leagues, an equal opportunity to qualify for Europe based on sporting merit, and fairer sharing of the game’s wealth.
We therefore demand that you drop your reckless plans. We also call on football’s governing bodies to stop making concessions to elite clubs and intervene to protect the future of the game.
Football needs to change. But it needs to change for the better. The issues at stake are too important to be decided behind closed doors.
Supportersvereniging Ajax (AFC Ajax / Netherlands)
Mauves Army 2003 (RSC Anderlecht / Belgium)
Arsenal Supporters’ Trust / Arsenal Independent Supporters’ Association (Arsenal FC / England)
EscudoAtleti / Replicantes 1903 / Señales de Humo (Atlético de Madrid / Spain)
Club Nr. 12 (Bayern München / Germany)
Diabos Vermelhos (SL Benfica / Portugal)
BVB Fanabteilung (Borussia Dortmund /Germany)
1907 ÜNIFEB (Fenerbahçe / Turkey)
Forza HJK / Klubipääty (HJK / Finland)
FCK Fan Club (FC København / Denmark)
Bad Gones 1987 (Olympique Lyonnais / France)
Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (Manchester United / England)
Collectif Ultras Paris (Paris Saint-Germain / France)
Movimiento Ámbar (Real Madrid / Spain)
gäubschwarzsüchtig – GSS (BSC Young Boys / Switzerland)
Football Supporters Europe (FSE)