The Concacaf Champions League grows stronger and the Club World Cup has a lot to do with it
Santiago Baños is not a name that is recognized far beyond the borders of Mexican soccer. He is the president of Club América and was previously director of national teams for the Mexican Federation. An important character in Mexico but not much beyond. Let’s say Baños wouldn’t stop traffic far from Coapa. Recent statements did make his name be heard a lot, far from Aztec soil. As president of one of the largest clubs in the region, Baños destroyed CONCACAF’s most important club competition, the Champions League, with words. Driven by superior interests that would seek the return of Mexican clubs to South American competitions, such as the Libertadores, Baños said that CONCACAF “leaves nothing and costs for the clubs they contribute in travel, hotels and the sports award is not related to the tournament. Economically there is nothing ”.
“It is not a secret and we all want to return to Libertadores and we have seen it. It is a tournament of another level. We would love to return for being sporty and economical, ”the president of the Eagles also said. The latter would be the most important thing: economics. Winning a Libertadores can mean a total income close to US $ 22 million. The CONCACAF Champions League could bring the final champion of the tournament, Tigres, a purse of $ 780,000 for his victory. The CONCACAF club competition rewards little, economically, but in sports it grants a ticket to the Club World Cup. That is not a bad toy if you find it when you burst the piñata. Baños’ disparagement of the CONCACAF Champions League is not without argument. But all that would be about to change.
A few weeks ago it was announced that the CONCACAF Champions League competition format would be changed from the 2023/24 season. This new dynamic will divide the region into three groups: 20 teams from North America, 20 from Central America and 10 from the Caribbean. In that initial phase, the sports incentive for Mexican teams would increase by having frequent crosses against their MLS peers. CONCACAF has commenced commercialization of this new format which is expected to announce substantial revenue growth for each club. When the figures of the new format are known, the numbers will make, economically speaking, also make a lot of sense to appreciate regional competition. Thus Baños and several other club leaders in Mexico would be left without foundation to question the competition of clubs to which they are owed by the sports region to which they belong.
There will be one other, if not several, points in favor of the CONCACAF Champions League and its new format. Access to Club World Cup, for instance. The idea of an expanded version of the club competition you organize FIFA would have been revitalized from Zurich and I can say that FIFA consider that the new Club World Cup is played in North America in 2025, a year before the World Cup that organizes the territory and would serve as a set-up for the structure that mounts that world Cup. CONCACAF would host that first Club World Cup with 24 teams. Of the three originally designated squares, CONCACAF they would add one more for being local. They could well be the two finalists from the 23/24 and 24/25 seasons.
The advantages of a guarantee infrastructure and the attractiveness of the US market for the big European clubs mean that FIFA start this discussion. In January of this year all the confederations joined in support of the Club World Cup in its current format and also in the suggested new format.
UEFA also proposes a new formula of competition for the Champions League, with more income for the clubs, as you also want CONCACAF. What of UEFA melts the creation of the so-called European Super League and strengthens the control of the body in club football. What of CONCACAF Plan to silence opinions such as that of the president of America. Santiago Baños may not be a name that is widely known outside of Mexico, but what he says has surely been heard in the offices of CONCACAF in Miami.