UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin says the failed European Super League “gave with one hand and took with five” in a foreword to a report which detailed the current financial position.
Twelve clubs signed up as founding members of the project, which has dwindled to three - Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona - after the remaining nine recommitted to UEFA and accepted financial penalties. More serious punishment could be on the way for the rebels who are yet to back down.
In a report titled 'The European Club Football Landscape', financial promises made by the ESL were ridiculed, with UEFA claiming its own ‘solidarity’ payments to the sport’s pyramid far exceed what was being put forward by the rival competition.
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"Reports of 10 billion dollars over 23 years and wildly misleading claims of tripling of solidarity need to be put into proper context, even if they never come to pass," said the report.
"Without going into detailed calculations, a modest growth rate of five per cent a year (well below historic and current rates) would be expected to generate more than 28 billion dollars in (UEFA) solidarity over 23 years. Needless to say, 10 billion dollars is not three times 28 billion dollars."
The report also goes into significant detail on the impact coronavirus has had on the sport, claiming that Europe’s professional clubs would miss out on a combined £7.5bn over the past two seasons because of the pandemic.
"This report outlines how broadcast penalties, empty stadiums, reduced commercial revenues, and the collapse in transfer profits have led to a projected 8.7 billion-euro shortfall in professional club revenues, with pain shared equally among top and lower tier clubs, only partly compensated by cost savings,” said Ceferin.
Competition structures that destroy value, offering to give with one hand while taking away with five hands, are certainly not the answer.
"The whole football ecosystem, at professional, amateur and youth levels, has been heavily disrupted by the pandemic.
This requires concerted efforts and a coordinated response throughout the football pyramid. Solidarity, not self-interest, must prevail and will win the day."
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