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After the failure of the Superliga, consultancy makes four proposals for the future of European football

Football Benchmark, an arm focused on the sports market within the multinational auditing company KPMG, pointed out ‘paths’ towards the most popular sport on the planet, with an eye toward the Old Continent

European football was boiling hot earlier this week like it hadn’t been seen in a long time. The reason? The announcement of the creation of the Super League, the project that brought together the 12 richest clubs in Europe, in a model that threatened the structures of the UEFA Champions League.

Even under pressure from the fans, almost all the founding teams have announced their resignation from the new competition in recent days (Barcelona and Real Madrid have not issued any withdrawal announcements).

Even with the implosion of the Superliga, the dispute model in Europe was at the center of sports debates.

Based on this, Football Benchmark, an arm focused on the sports market within the multinational auditing company KPMG, he pointed out ‘paths’ to the most popular sport on the planet, with a view to the Old Continent.

According to a report published on Friday (23), the reconstruction of the market model is essential. To increase revenue and continue to serve more fans globally, soccer’s governing bodies could adopt four reform measures.

Reform of the Financial Fair Play regulatory system

The report points to a reconstruction of the Financial Fair Play system as a pillar of the process of evolution of the football business model in Europe

“A more consistent and rigorous cost control is essential to improve sustainability, as the income of many clubs is absorbed by their increasing expenses with the teams,” says the document, which still suggests a discussion about the gradual introduction of a cap. flexible salary in sport.

Game calendars reform

The reformulation of the calendar of the national and international leagues is also a central objective in the Football Benchmark report, which points to a rationalization of the number of matches as a way “to have as many significant matches as possible”.

To do this, it is suggested to reduce the number of teams that compete in national championships from 20 to 18, with the aim of expanding the option of dates for international tournaments.

“The number of games played by players who also play for their national teams should be considered to ensure that they receive the necessary rest periods during the year and the recovery time between games.”

Governance reform

The tense relationship between clubs and UEFA, which had been discussing a Champions League reform for months, worsened further after the announcement of the Super League. For KPMG, there is an urgent need for “a change in the governance of football and in the redistribution of decision-making powers.”

In the analysis of the consultancy, “the main clubs bear the financial risk of their operations and investments, but may have a relatively limited voice in the distribution of their income.”

“The clubs felt that their word in calling for reforms in relation to the Champions League was not treated on the basis of merit, claiming that the competition did not offer enough high-quality games and did not capitalize on the potential for streaming revenue.”

Smaller market reform (regionalization)

The distance between the giants and the smallest clubs in Europe was also part of this debate promoted by KPMG, which recalled that out of 80 teams, only three from outside the five major leagues in Europe reached the semifinals of the Champions League.

According to the report, since the 2015/16 season, the clubs with the ten highest revenues in world football number more than the five top-division European leagues combined.

To do this, the Football Benchmark report proposes a debate on the union of leagues among the suggestions, one that involves the main Belgian and Dutch clubs, which would have the potential to become the sixth largest league in Europe.

The document also notes that “similar mergers could take place, for example, in Scandinavia, the Balkans or in Central and Eastern Europe.”

“These regional leagues would develop markets with a critical mass of fans and improved soccer products, offering a more attractive proposition for broadcast and commercial partners. Therefore, regional leagues would be more competitive on the continental stage, provide a clearer path. for clubs to qualify for major competitions, such as the Champions League, and would help develop a more balanced European football landscape. “

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