Saturday, May 28, 2022

Premier League teams fear Champions League changes could hurt their cash windfall from TV rights deal

PREM clubs fear the proposed changes to the Champions League could adversely impact top-flight TV deals.

Uefa look set to confirm the 36-team competition will award two “coefficient places”, rewarding sides who missed out domestically but have the best Euro record over the previous five years.

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Steve Parish believes the changes to the Champions League are designed to give the big clubs what they wantCredit: Getty

Crystal Palace supremo Steve Parish called it “Super League by the back door”.

And his worries are shared, with clubs arguing the new system will amplify the current financial and sporting dominance of the Big Six — and make it harder for other clubs to catch up.

If the top-four race loses its importance, the extra fear is that the broadcasters will decide the loss of the “jeopardy” element no longer justifies huge broadcast deals. This could mean a decline in income for all 20 clubs.

Fifa’s last resort

Fifa chiefs are working on ANOTHER plan to try to prevent “agreed” last-game results in the 2026 World Cup group phase.

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Switching to a 48-team tournament, with 16 groups of three in the first round, raised concerns that teams drawn to play each other in the final match could come to unofficial arrangements to ensure both progress.

Penalty shootouts after every drawn group game — in a tournament hosted by Canada, Mexico, and US — are one idea.

Another option would see group winners stay in the same city for their second round, last-32 tie, rather than risk having to travel up to 2,500 miles and potentially cross THREE time zones.

Plans for the 2026 World Cup are still being drawn up

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Plans for the 2026 World Cup are still being drawn upCredit: PA:Press Association

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Wembley to host “Finalissima”

Uefa’s link-up with South America was formalised by opening a joint London office.

Wembley will host the sold-out “Finalissima” between Euro 2020 winners Italy and Copa America champions Argentina on June 1.

And it is now planned to play an annual play-off between the winners of the Uefa Youth League and their South American counterparts, with a potential 50,000 crowd in Uruguay’s Centenario in Montevideo.

Wembley is set to host the "Finalissima" between Italy and Argentina on June 1

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Wembley is set to host the “Finalissima” between Italy and Argentina on June 1Credit: Getty

Radrizzani to help Fifa streaming

Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani is playing a major role in Fifa’s planned delivery of 40,000 free live games per year worldwide.

His sports media company Eleven will deliver the Fifa+ service to provide the new platform’s content.

Wonder how many old films of Marcelo Bielsa’s teams he will be able to find?

Andrea Radrizzani's company Eleven will provide the Fifa+ streaming service

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Andrea Radrizzani’s company Eleven will provide the Fifa+ streaming serviceCredit: Reuters

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