UEFA presidential candidate Ceferin says Super League must not be allowed to happen

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UEFA presidential candidate Aleksander Ceferin says UEFA needs “evolution not revolution” as he outlines his key points if elected president of Europe’s soccer governing body.

UEFA presidential candidate Ceferin says Super League must not be allowed to happen

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ATHENS, GREECE (SEPTEMBER 13, 2016) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)

1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UEFA PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, ALEKSANDER CEFERIN, SAYING:

“First of all we will do everything that Super League never happens, it will never happen. The Second thing is that I’m not sure if the clubs want a Super League, they are just pushing it with threats about Super League to get some more and they obviously succeeded, but it’s too complicated and we don’t want to — we will never be for that.”

2. WHITE FLASH

3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UEFA PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, ALEKSANDER CEFERIN, SAYING:

“I have a few key points in my programme. We have to, as I said, work on transparency, we have to make a term limit for president and for ExCo (executive committee) members because you cannot stay at a certain position for 20 years because you lose it you think that it’s your own, which we have seen in the recent past. Then we have to change UEFA structure to have a department or unit for women’s football, we are not working enough on that field, we don’t have a department for women’s football. We have to make a separate part of UEFA – let’s call it protection of the game that will take care of security. Security is a huge issue in Europe now and it’s getting worse and worse and worse. Then fight against match fixing, fight against doping, racism, so those are the key points.”

4. WHITE FLASH

5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UEFA PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, ALEKSANDER CEFERIN, SAYING:

“I think – I am sure that UEFA is still a very good organisation. Also FIFA’s matters harmed football including UEFA, because people don’t care if it happened in FIFA or UEFA they just said ‘ah in football everything is wrong, they are all corrupted’ but it is not so I can assure you. There are cases which I don’t want to enter because I am a lawyer and I think there are authorities to decide but at the same time UEFA is a very good organisation which needs evolution and not revolution.”

STORY: UEFA presidential candidate Aleksander Ceferin believes that a European Super League must not be allowed to happen and that the gap between rich clubs and the rest must stop growing, he told Reuters on Tuesday (September 13), a day before the football body elects a new president.

Ceferin, a Slovenian lawyer who faces Michael van Praag in Wednesday’s vote, said small clubs had been overlooked in the negotiations which led to major changes to UEFA’s flagship competition.

Ceferin said he had first-hand experience of the problems facing smaller federations, coming from a country where professional players earn 1,000 and 4,000 euros a month – a drop in the ocean compared to wages in England and Spain.

UEFA last month announced changes to its flagship Champions League competition, opening up more places to teams from Europe’s biggest four leagues — effectively Spain, England, Germany and Italy – and cutting those allocated to the rest. It also increased suspicion that the big clubs ultimately wanted to form a breakaway Super League.

“First of all we will do everything that Super League never happens, it will never happen,” he said. “I’m not sure that if the clubs want a Super League, they are just pushing it with threats about super league….and they obviously succeeded.”

Ceferin said many clubs had not been consulted about the new Champions League system, something he would make sure would not happen again.

However, he did not want to say whether he would try and reverse the changes if elected on Wednesday, adding he did not want to be a populist.

“We should look at it and see what we can do,” he said, adding that UEFA needed to tell the big clubs that smaller countries also mattered.

“We should communicate more even with the big clubs, we should tell them or present them that the majority of the good players in the world are not from just a few countries, and that without including the small ones football will lose and if you will watch every week two clubs playing then it will also be boring I am sure,” he said.

Ceferin said that UEFA also needed to look at the way in which it distributes revenue.

“The revenue depends on results, on TV rights and I cannot pretend that UEFA gets the same amount of money from TV rights for Slovenia or for Spain or Italy. So it is a problem, I have to come there and see

“The revenue depends on results, on TV rights and I cannot pretend that UEFA gets the same amount of money from TV rights for Slovenia or for Spain or Italy, so it is a problem, I have to come there and see.” he said, adding, “The gap is wider and wider and I agree it will be worse and worse,”

He suggested the cross-border leagues could be set up but only for teams who had not qualified for the Champions League and Europa League.

He also has also proposed term limits for the UEFA president and members of the executive committee and wants fines handed out by UEFA’s disciplinary committee to be proportional.

“You cannot stay at a certain position for 20 years because you lose it, you think that it’s your own, which we have seen in the recent past,” he said.

Ceferin said his priorities included improving transparency and UEFA’s image if elected president.

“I am sure that UEFA is still a very good organization. Also FIFA’s matters harmed football including UEFA, because people don’t care if it happened in FIFA or UEFA they just said ‘ah in football everything is wrong, they are all corrupted’ but it is not so I can assure you. There are cases which I don’t want to enter because I am a lawyer and I think there are authorities to decide but at the same time UEFA is a very good organization which needs evolution and not revolution,” he said.

Match-fixing, doping and improving security – a major new issue in Europe, he said, were also his key points.

Tags : Happen, Allowed, must, league, super, says, Ceferin, candidate, presidential, Uefa

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