European clubs planning a breakaway league to combat Champions League reforms

European clubs planning a breakaway league to combat Champions League reforms – originally posted on

Clubs from lesser European countries are undergoing discussions over a breakaway European league involving teams from Scotland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway and Sweden to combat the potential freezing out by the new reforms introduced in the Champions League.

FC Copenhagen director Anders Horsholt has revealed discussions have been going on over the formation of a new league to rival the Champions League, which has taken a road to make it more exclusive to the continent’s biggest clubs.

“Yes it’s true. If we do not act now, we will see the biggest clubs grow larger and stronger while it will be increasingly difficult for clubs like us.”

Copenhagen are yet to lose in the Champion League this season.

Copenhagen are yet to lose in the Champion League this season.

“We must therefore look at which alternative international opportunities for FC Copenhagen in the future,” said Horsholt in an interview with Danish newspaper BT.

The new reforms to be introduced in the Champions League include the change that will allow the top four clubs from the four top-ranked national associations to qualify directly for the group stage of the competition. Spain, Germany, England, and Italy are the current incumbents of the top four spots in Uefa’s  country coefficients which would mean there will only be 16 spots for clubs of the remaining 50 countries to fill.

Horsholt further stated that although any specific model for a breakaway league is yet to be drawn up, clubs the size of the Danish champions are looking into that prospect. He added that the gap between the biggest clubs and clubs like Copenhagen can be bridged only by playing in a separate league at the European level.

Here it is still too early to talk about specific models, but the discussion of leagues across European borders is a theme that we look at and actively participate in.

We understand that the biggest clubs act as they do. But it also means that we must look at the market it leaves and seek alliances with teams from other countries in the same situation.

This is not a situation that we have created, but we have to deal with it because we cannot live with the alternative accounting. We must continue to develop as a club and be attractive to sponsors, the most skilled players and staff. Therefore, it is essential that we are at the European level.

FC Copenhagen and other European clubs that will be part of a new European league will step out of their domestic leagues. It is still well in the future, but it may well be the result.

Celtic could be part of the breakaway European league.

Celtic could be part of the breakaway European league.

Copenhagen are second in their Champions League group which also contains Premier League champions Leicester City, Portuguese giants FC Porto and Belgian champions Club Brugge.

Last month, the president of Spain’s La Liga expressed an interest in considering proposals to form a breakaway competition to rival the Champions League since such a competition represents a “greater opportunity to generate more revenue”.

Celtic’s chief executive, Peter Lawell, was, in February, reported to be in favour of a breakaway league as he feared for the Hoops’ fate in the Champions League with the new reforms.

Horsholt had also previously expressed his desire to form a Champions League for the smaller European countries in 2014, and if the ongoing talks come to fruition, he might just realise his dream of a European competition where Copenhagen could challenge for the title.

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