Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have been critical of the proposed changes in a revamped Champions League format, which will add more games, potentially driving up injuries.
Responding to the Premier League managers’ concerns, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin suggested that pay cuts will need to be implemented, as revealed in a Daily Mail exclusive.
Ceferin’s response to Pep + Klopp: I’m open to fewer games but it will mean less €€€ so salaries will have to adjust… pic.twitter.com/KzrnH2LVlu
— Rob Draper (@draper_rob) April 24, 2021
“Some coaches and players said too many matches. There can always be less matches but also the salaries of the players and coaches have to adapt. You cannot generate less and earn more all the time,” the 53-year-old said.
“I read some people saying: ‘We don’t want more matches.’ I’m fine with that, really, I am. If the Champions League stays as it is, it will still be the best competition in the world.
“Our reforms came about because clubs need help responding to the financial crisis. We can carry on as we are but clubs will go out of business. And who does that hurt most? Their fans.
“So, while I understand what some people are saying, I’d ask them “What is your solution?” We believe the reforms we are making have advantages for everyone.”
With the financial ramifications of the ongoing pandemic bringing even European giants to their knees, the pressure for increased revenue to address income slumps is mounting.
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That being said, with players already playing at their limits, according to Klopp during his pre-Newcastle presser, there’s a difficult balance to strike between addressing the financial reality of the current climate and safeguarding the wellbeing of footballers.
With fans having played a critical role in the withdrawal of sides from the doomed European Super League, increased input from the supporters would certainly help add greater insights into a debate that will surely impact them just as much as the clubs involved.