Saturday , March 25 2023

A22 Sports Management & UEFA hold talks on European Club Football’s future!

Yesterday, November 8 morning, a meeting was held between UEFA executive management and A22 Sports in Nyon, Switzerland. Attendees included UEFA’s President Aleksander Čeferin and a large group of other executives, A22 CEO Bernd Reichart and the two founders of A22, Anas Laghrari and John Hahn.

Also read European football reconfirms its opposition to breakaway projects!

Bernd Reichart, CEO A22, stated: “It was good to meet with UEFA and we are happy they accepted our invitation to have an open exchange. This is an important signal to clubs and fans across Europe that we need discussion and that it is welcome, even when it is difficult. I look forward to continuing my engagement with many clubs and other stakeholders over the coming months. The club discussions I have had in recent weeks clearly show that the football community is eager to discuss the future and has concrete ideas for change.”

“Our takeaway from the meeting was that the status quo is satisfactory to UEFA. This position was anticipated as UEFA has been the sole, dominant operator of European club competitions since 1955. This monopoly structure is currently being reviewed by the Court of Justice of the European Union which is expected to deliver its conclusions in Spring 2023.”

During the meeting a number of topics were discussed regarding the future of football in Europe. A22 shared with UEFA its views as to the major issues facing the sport including club governance of European competitions, the failure of European club competitions to reach their full potential, lack of adequate financial controls, affordable prices for fans, and the investment needs to fund the women’s game, infrastructure and very importantly, solidarity. These issues have existed for many years and are not going away on their own. A22 also reiterated that it is fully committed to open competitions based on sporting merit and the fundamental role played by national leagues – which would be complementary to a new format.

A22 specifically noted that its ongoing dialogue with clubs and other stakeholders about the future of European club competitions must be carried out in an environment free from threats and other restraints. In this regard, A22 requested that UEFA refrain from such activities to allow clubs and others the freedom to exchange ideas about important reforms. UEFA provided assurances that this would be the case.

Bernd Reichart, CEO A22 said, “Free speech and the free exchange of ideas are fundamental rights and A22 will continue its efforts to reform football, informed by the views of a wide group of stakeholders including clubs, fans, players, leagues, policy makers and other parties. We are heartened by the fact, that, we have already been contacted by and are in conversations with numerous clubs who wish to take part in this dialogue to develop a sustainable foundation for European club football.”

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