Fans accuse clubs of power grab | Sunday Observer

Fans accuse clubs of power grab

18 April, 2021

European football fans have charged that Manchester United and Bayern Munich fans are involved in a “power grab” in connection with changes in the Champions League.

The clubs belong to the European Club Association (ECA).

The ECA’s chairman, Andrea Agnelli, has described the proposed new format, in which each team would play at least four extra group-stage matches, as “close to ideal”.

However, it is understood that some ECA members are still pushing for greater commercial control.

An open letter to Agnelli, signed by 17 fan groups from 14 clubs who are represented on the ECA board, said the voices of millions of supporters were being ignored.

“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,” it said.

“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.” It added: “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.” (agencies)