European super league
In all of his recent statements, Gianni Infantino said that it is necessary to change the football calendar and enhance club tournaments. The move by the FIFA president is directly linked to the announcement made on Sunday night (18) that shook the structure of the sport: the officialization that most of the richest clubs in Europe plan to form an independent league
Infantino has said that he is open to dialogue, especially with the clubs, of course, but not only: the topper said that anyone who has an idea of how to accommodate a new calendar from 2024 that does not diminish the importance of team clashes, but at the same time add value to the championships of the clubs you write to him.
2024? Yes, until then the world football calendar is in a cast. FIFA works in cycles, and 2020/2024 already has commercial contracts tied up that would make a radical change very difficult. The UEFA Champions League itself has its main agreements valid until the 2023/2024 season.
To fit what would be a first step towards a greater role for the clubs in the FIFA calendar, the Super World with 24 participants, eight Europeans and six South Americans and a promise of revenue that would exceed one billion dollars, FIFA needed to decree the end of the unprofitable Confederations Cup. The pandemic postponed that Super World indefinitely, leaving a vacuum in the dates for the creation of The European Super League.
The FIFA note on Sunday night criticized the creation of the Super League, but made a nod to the clubs for dialogue. Because? FIFA dreams that it will be able to hold a Club World Cup even more broadly than that of the 24 planned competitors, which encompasses hundreds of participants. The question is: would FIFA be willing to embrace a model that ignores technical criteria, such as promotion and demotion and privileges an elite that turns money around? It might be.
To understand this process a little more, we need to go back a little bit in time, to November 2019: that month the creation of the World Club Association was announced, with initially eight members from all six continents: Real Madrid (Spain) ), Milan (Italy), Auckland City (New Zealand), Boca Juniors (Argentina), River Plate (Argentina), America (Mexico), Guangzhou (China) and Mazembe (DR Congo).
In the photo of the advertisement published, among other means, on the official website of Real Madrid appears the directors of these clubs and an important guest: Gianni Infantino. Realizing the movement of clubs through independent leagues, Infantino sought the biggest incentive for that, Real Madrid boss Florentino Pérez, and sewed the creation of this association that has already flirted with other clubs, such as Flamengo during the 2019 Club World Cup.
European super league
Internally, there are those who defend in FIFA that the Super Club World Cup, which initially would have “only” 24 clubs to be able to adapt to the current calendar, had guests. Rich guests. The matter did not go further because it was known that there would be squeak of those who defend technical criteria to qualify for tournaments, but the seed was planted. And this World Club Association was born out of it, which is the world version for the European league, with one difference: FIFA is participating, while UEFA is out of the process, for the time being, of the Super League announced this Sunday.
FIFA knows that the rebel movement of European clubs is a path of no return. Even if the Super League does not leave the paper, perhaps for legal reasons, there will be repercussions that will generate changes in formats that favor this elite financially. FIFA, therefore, wants to participate in this cake.
But there is also a survival instinct for the international federation to embrace club tournaments that can ignore the periphery: if FIFA fails to regulate the calendar, it risks that national team games will fall into disuse, which would be catastrophic for the organization already. that your golden egg hen remains the World Cup of selections.
If the clashes between teams, and consequently the World Cup, ended tomorrow, FIFA would go bankrupt. In the four-year cycle between the Cups, Fifa has a loss in three and (a lot) profit in only one, precisely the year in which 32 teams (today) are in one or more countries for the Cup.
European super league
In 2022, FIFA’s forecast is to earn US $ 1.6 billion with the Qatar Cup and have a net profit of US $ 1.5 billion at the end of the year. In 2020, for example, the entity’s loss was US $ 683 million and the forecast for 2021 is a gap of more than US $ 500 million. There is loss of revenue with the covid-19, of course, but it is natural for Fifa to have losses in the years before the World Cup.
FIFA will try to strike a balance between not confronting its confederations, like UEFA, but with an eye on the financial return it can get from more profitable club tournaments. If you can do it, it’s another chapter.
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