UEFA is set to cut its European competition prize money to help offset the losses incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governing body of football across Europe has reportedly written to its 55 member associations to outline the shortfalls in revenue suffered from a disrupted campaign last season, amounting to as much as £514 million in reduced TV and sponsorship income.
The report follows chairman of the European Club Association (ECA) chairman Andrea Agnelli’s warning last month that the prestigious club competitions could still yet encounter a €575 million TV rebate and a €4 billion revenue shortfall over the next two years.
The cuts will be directly applied to TV revenue and prize money and will be split over five years as a courtesy to reduce the financial strain that is also being felt by football clubs themselves. The Times claimed that the reduction will be around four per cent, per season.
Meanwhile, The Telegraph have reported that UEFA are exploring ways of adapting the Champions League format by freshening up the competition as well as finding new ways to appeal to broadcasters.
Reportedly, one of the proposals put forward was to increase the number of sides participating in the competition from 32, to 36.
Two models have also been suggested for the competition moving forward. The first, is having six groups of six clubs who will all play each other home and away and the second model would be to have teams play 10 fixtures against different opponents, selected by a seeding system, comparable to that seen in the US.
Other plans mooted in the past include promotion and relegation in the competition alongside games being played on weekends, suggested by the ECA in 2019.
The single-country, one-leg format was successful last season in completing the competitions efficiently after being halted earlier in the year. The adoption of this format returning in 2024 is also being considered after Giorgio Marchetti, UEFA’s deputy general manager claimed it “has potential”.
Author: Jake Wilkin