As Uefa and Europe's most powerful clubs prepare to ratify changes to the structure of the Champions League, Carlo Ancelotti has expressed his concern at the imbalance in modern football and stressed that the notion of a Continental Super League must be resisted.
The UEFA Executive Committee was due to announce the details of a planned reform of Europe's elite club competition this past week but has pushed the timing back to 19 April, effectively so that a minority of the Continent's most wealthy clubs are wrangling with the governing body over the share of commercial rights and revenue from the revamped Champions League from 2024 onwards.
The principal changes that are expected to be ratified would see the current group phase scrapped in favour of a “Swiss model” format where clubs would play 10 matches against a variety of sides and be placed in one big 36-team league table, from which the Round of 16 would be decided based on placing.
Among the proposals is the creation of two guaranteed spots for clubs of “historical significance” to the competition that would allow teams who have regularly competed in the tournament should they fail to qualify for the Champions League via domestic league placing. That is being regarded as the first step towards a European Super League, an ever-increasingly closed shop centred around the game's current “big” clubs at the expense of so-called “smaller” teams and the very competitive spirit of the sport.
As Ancelotti plots a way for Everton to finally break into the Champions League and gain a foothold on Europe's gravy train, he outlined the dangers posed by the lack of true competition at the very top of the Continent's five big leagues — the Bundlesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1 and Serie A have come to be dominated by one or two clubs in recent years and the destination of the Premier League title has been a foregone conclusion in each of the last two seasons.
“It is clear that if the national competitions lose interest and entertainment, then the concept of a Super League attracts more power,” the Italian said recently in an interview with The Athletic. “For a supporter, if it got to the stage that Everton could not hope to beat Manchester City, then I am not going to watch. I would prefer to watch Manchester City against Barcelona because it would be more entertaining.
“But, for me, the Super League cannot happen. We have the Champions League. It's enough, right? The Champions League pits the best against the best already but the future of football must value the national competitions more. The schedule is really tough as it is. The players never rest.
“Now we have an international break but we have players who are going to play three games [for their countries]. They do not stop, particularly during this season. If there were fewer games, it would give a chance to smaller teams to improve their quality and have a more competitive league.
“It is true this year that the Premier League is much more competitive; ourselves, West Ham, Aston Villa and Leeds, who have all done really well. But in the end, City will win the league by 15 points or whatever it is.
“We want to be able to hope that Everton could compete, within two or three years, with the very top teams. But with football as it is at the moment, Everton cannot [consistently] compete. We need more time. It is true that the stadium is one very important point to attract more income and be more competitive.”
Reader Comments (50)
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1 Posted 02/04/2021 at 18:51:24
2 Posted 02/04/2021 at 19:09:52
Sadly, we're already there, as the last two games against them showed. I'm obviously not going to turn to Man City vs Barcelona for my entertainment instead (I rarely watch the Champions League anyway) but, as an Evertonian, the PL and FA Cup defeats to Guardiola's side were pretty depressing.
If the mooted relaxation in FFP allows us more leeway to spend then I'm hopeful we can close the gap a little but the longer we go without CL revenue, the more that gap will feel insurmountable.
3 Posted 02/04/2021 at 19:30:01
It can be depressing and in an age where Everton have seemingly slipped so far, it is easy to understand those who think we have simply slipped too far behind to ever recover.
As you say though Lyndon, there has to be hope and hopefully that comes from the potential realisation that FFP is actually flawed, which allows us to invest.
Using the example of Manchester City, who are rightfully called out as being light years ahead of us. 20 years ago this season they were relegated. They came back up a year or 2 later and were champions of England within 10 years of that.
We all know the Leicester story, again, on the back of almost being relegated.
I'm not an absolute dreamer and I do have a sense of realism. But those 2 clubs alone and the fact we have evolved from the big four to the top six in Sky speak should give us hope.
It does me anyway.
4 Posted 02/04/2021 at 19:41:02
5 Posted 02/04/2021 at 20:03:11
6 Posted 02/04/2021 at 20:06:55
Does anyone know if the youth team game is on telly
7 Posted 02/04/2021 at 20:09:34
8 Posted 02/04/2021 at 20:10:29
9 Posted 02/04/2021 at 20:11:23
The footy that enchanted me and generations has gone the hyped up tv version for global wallahs has little relevance to dyed in the wool locals and more importantly club owners. The entire edifice rests on broadcasters recalling days gone by shoehorning references of historical passion to create faux jeopardy and disguise how many match goers are more concerned about the internet signal. Gotta be able to watch a movie or text amidst the yawn fest plodding along in front of them
Liverpool, Utd et al could move lock stock and barrel to Hong Kong, Dubai and similar "better" locations change their names to "minge rovers and fanny albion" and it wouldn't make a bit of difference to those holding levers of footballing power.
10 Posted 02/04/2021 at 20:11:36
In-form Everton Under-18s forward Charlie Whitaker says his confidence is “through the roof” and is targeting another match-defining role in the young Blues FA Youth Cup fourth-round tie at Manchester City on Saturday (2pm BST).
The game at City's Academy Stadium is one of two Blues fixtures being streamed live on evertonfc.com this weekend - with Everton Women's home game against Aston Villa on Sunday (1pm BST) also set to be broadcast.
Saturday's FA Youth Cup match will be available to Season Ticket and Official Members, while Sunday's WSL encounter will be free for all Digital Members. To sign up for a free Digital Membership, click here.
11 Posted 02/04/2021 at 20:12:24
12 Posted 02/04/2021 at 20:15:39
Followed by City v Leicester which should be a good game
13 Posted 02/04/2021 at 20:17:55
14 Posted 02/04/2021 at 20:19:16
15 Posted 02/04/2021 at 20:33:35
16 Posted 02/04/2021 at 20:53:05
I honestly dont think Everton recovered from the European ban, and as much as I like watching the Champions league, because it is definitely a much higher standard, I honestly dont watch/enjoy it, until the tournament reaches the knockout stages.
Agree Its all about money, and hopefully Everton have got a very powerful money-man waiting in the shadows, but honestly, Im not sure Id have much time for a European Super league, even if Everton were involved.
Writing this has made me think about the debt the Spanish giants are both in, so maybe this does make a money league a certainty, who knows?
17 Posted 02/04/2021 at 20:55:02
Clubs of “Historical Significance “ my fucking hairy arsehole. Fuck them, if they finish fifth sixth or whatever, tough fucking shit. If over 38 games Leicester, Villa or Everton have played better they should reap their reward. The “Historically Significant” club will just have to play better fucking football the next season and become “Currently Significant “ ! The greedy bastards are killing the great game, to the pits of hell with the lot of them, they are fucking shameless.
PS, to the Irish Whiskey TW connoisseurs, thanks for the heads up on the Bushmills. Enjoying a bottle of Black Bush.
18 Posted 02/04/2021 at 21:01:55
19 Posted 02/04/2021 at 21:43:01
The Champions League was something everyone could understand and admire
Its like the bloody play offs, TV orientated and supporter ignored
How can someone who finishes 3rd or 4th get promoted/win Champions league
20 Posted 02/04/2021 at 22:19:11
The ship has never sailed. It leaves the port and comes home to dock again.
21 Posted 02/04/2021 at 22:54:38
Easy Decision - Do some work on my model railway or some admin for our charity.
Choice of Bayern v Barca or Everton v Any Team you care to name.
Tougher Decision. If watching Everton was not going to raise my blood pressure too much or cause me to be depressed by the end of the game, I'll watch Everton. Otherwise, I'll work on my model railway or do some admin for our charity.
What was the one about "What would you do If Liverpool/City/United/any other team were practicing in your garden?" "I'd draw the curtains"
22 Posted 03/04/2021 at 14:59:58
Ask yourselves Blues,how many Gaffers have been 3-0 up in a C.L final...only to lose it!
Methinks Mr Hind will be proven right about our Carlo,as for Monday's game...
God only knows!.
23 Posted 03/04/2021 at 15:01:52
24 Posted 03/04/2021 at 15:11:43
25 Posted 03/04/2021 at 15:16:29
In the vast majority a team having a man sent off before the half hour mark will get beat
26 Posted 03/04/2021 at 15:23:37
27 Posted 03/04/2021 at 15:47:19
Twist it the other way, how many times has Ancelotti managed a team in the cl final? More than anyone in our entire history.
We are lucky to have him at the club. Who else do people want? Maybe we can poach Pep, Klopp or Zidane as they would be able to turn the players into world beaters and we would win everything in sight!!
28 Posted 03/04/2021 at 16:02:43
29 Posted 03/04/2021 at 16:07:02
30 Posted 03/04/2021 at 16:08:59
Ultimately the league tells you where you are. West Brom are 19th and still 7 points from safety with 8 games to go. A precarious position. If we beat Palace, we are 2 points off Chelsea who currently sit 4th.
31 Posted 03/04/2021 at 17:20:23
The entire world is allowing the big to eat the small. Banks, corporations, and now, seemingly, footy.
In a sports competition, isn't the idea to EARN your way into a tournament through victory? Isn't the concept of if you lose you're out kind of the point?
I'm getting old, and I'm the grumpy 80 year old plus dude at the tender age of 51. The direction of society concerns me, and it's permeating sports.
And it's crap.
Two teams automatically in because of historical involvement? Just please fucking knock it off.
32 Posted 03/04/2021 at 17:55:06
The "historical significance" thing is money-driven idiocy. Guess we should save spots for Steaua, Marseille, Forest, Monchengladbach and Hamburger because they were juggernauts within living memory? Geez, let's go all the way back and give Ajax and Benfica and Reims and Celtic free passes because they were so awesome just 50 or 60 years ago.
Alan J, that's easy. Neither.
33 Posted 03/04/2021 at 18:16:41
Are there any Blues hopeful of a win on Monday?.
34 Posted 03/04/2021 at 18:26:35
35 Posted 03/04/2021 at 18:27:39
36 Posted 03/04/2021 at 18:39:17
37 Posted 03/04/2021 at 18:42:05
38 Posted 03/04/2021 at 18:53:08
Ancelotti will either get sacked or move on. People wanted Kendall, Ferguson, Clough and Wenger out despite winning things.
I see improvement in results and performance when everyone is fit. No doubt others see the opposite.
If we passed it forward quicker to our fantastic midfielders would that be better? Maybe miss the midfield out all together to our strikers but maybe that would upset the purists of the game?
Whatever the label we are still in with a shout of qualifying for Europe.
I have got to the stage where I really don't care about how, I care about putting points on the board.
I would love to win 5 - 4 like we did against Spurs or even the away victory against them. I would even settle for a 2-0 grind it out Derby type victory every week like we used to have under Moyes, Martinez, Koeman and Silva...oh hang on a minute they never did that did they!
39 Posted 03/04/2021 at 19:04:48
£11M per year?
40 Posted 03/04/2021 at 19:10:03
Yes I expect to win
41 Posted 03/04/2021 at 19:10:43
One that stands out among the rest of the crisps. A crisp among crisps if you will.
Especially when it's cheese and onion.
42 Posted 03/04/2021 at 19:12:40
43 Posted 03/04/2021 at 19:14:40
Its a special moment to be savored unless its salt and vinegar which is great in the moment but gives you tongue burn thereafter
44 Posted 03/04/2021 at 19:17:44
47 Posted 03/04/2021 at 20:07:53
48 Posted 03/04/2021 at 22:27:24
It's all about intent for me; we just seem to show up and wing it for 90+ minutes, regardless of how many men were playing against. There's never a clear playing style, a collective swagger so to speak; our play always looks haphazard and sloppy and very easily countered.
49 Posted 04/04/2021 at 01:40:58
Surely this is the death of football ?... like whats the point ?
50 Posted 04/04/2021 at 16:36:23
51 Posted 05/04/2021 at 20:47:27
Those who leave their respective leagues lose affiliation and history is wiped from the history books. Time to protect our leagues.
52 Posted 08/04/2021 at 03:02:32
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