UEFA plan, to complete the cups even if the championships do not end
UEFA pushes for Champions League and Europa League to end in August, prospects for a European Super League are increasingly concrete
The Europe of football travels at different speeds, as was expected in the era of the pandemic, which affects different times and ways in different countries. On the one hand, the national federations that have already decided to stop until September like France, Nethlerlands and Belgium, who are about to do it like in Italy even if nobody takes responsibility, or who are trying to give themselves a horizon like in England and Germany. On the other, UEFA, which studies the possibility of concluding Champions League and Europa League between August and September regardless of the national leagues. Are we going towards a future in which the famous European Super League that looked like a dystopian event will take over national tournaments?
The medical question
The biggest problem to be resolved remains that of coexistence with risk, in an arm wrestling between sports, science and responsibility of the authorities responsible for giving authorization to resume matches which is the real key to understanding how long it will take to review football played. In this perspective, the discrepancy between what is happening in different countries is evident, with the technical-scientific committees proclaiming caution if not pessimism about a rapid recovery, and what has been declared by the UEFA medical committee. Its president Tim Meyer circulated a note stating that restarting is possible.
‘In discussing any return to competitive football, at the elite level, the health of the players, of all those potentially involved in the games and the general public is of fundamental importance. All football organizations that are planning to restart their competitions will produce complete protocols that dictate the health and operational conditions ensuring that the health of the people involved in the matches is protected and that the integrity of the public is preserved. In these conditions and in full compliance with local legislation, it is certainly possible to plan the restart of suspended competitions during the 2019/20 season. “
The feasibility of the recovery declared by UEFA is clearly the manifestation of the intention to complete the two European cups at all costs and it is useless to underline again the impact of the economic factor on this position, it is valid for all national tournaments and is still worth more for continental competitions. Basically it remains to be understood how the protocols of health and operating conditions will be shared and accepted on a local basis, given that the scientific front also has different positions on the resumption of activities and the players themselves have doubts about a hasty recovery in the absence of data. certain. If already debated, even if it wants to resume, UEFA must break down a wall that has so far been insurmountable, or find an interlocutor who takes responsibility for starting competitions even in the face of the awareness that zero risk does not exist.
The European Super League
From a sporting point of view, if the Champions League and the Europa League were played in August even with unpublished formulas such as the Final Eight and the Final Four, we would indeed go towards that scenario hypothesized in the last twenty years in which the national leagues leave space for big European competitions that become protagonists of the scene. Nobody imagined that it could be a biological event to determine this turning point, but the result would not change. UEFA quickly realized that it could not have penalized clubs whose leagues have been permanently suspended out of the cups and for this reason the clubs are preparing accordingly. The PSG who is already in the Champions League quarter-finals could move to Qatar for training aimed only at the cup. Italian teams such as Inter and Atalanta are against the resumption of the championship but in favor of the conclusion of the Champions and Europa League even if the logistical problems (where to train and where to play) are not indifferent. In August we could taste an appetizer of what will happen in European football in the coming years.
Imagine a world in which the health emergency ends but the economic consequences remain. At first the costs will naturally be the small-medium companies, which are at risk of disappearing or surviving with difficulty generating an ever wider gap with the big European clubs that will be called to limit the damage of the collapse. A great continental tournament with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, PSG, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea plus other noble teams would become the natural landing place to be opposed to the loss of appeal and competitiveness of the national championships. Television rights would become a potentially devastating problem for local federations as broadcasters would invest less in these tournaments and divert their resources to prestigious European leagues that would have the advantage of having a potential audience of at least 150 million people on the continent alone . It is one of the reasons why UEFA will push to complete the cups in August and in perspective it is also a tool that the big clubs could use as a lifeline for the national football system. Huge revenues, some of which could be used by local federations to survive after the storm ended.