The head of European football’s governing body has warned he “wont give in to blackmail” over threats by some major leagues to form a breakaway competition to rival the flagship Champions League.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin was elected last September shortly after it announced changes to the competition to give more slots to clubs from bigger leagues and cut the number allocated smaller ones.
The moves were implemented after the biggest clubs had discussed creating a “Super League”.
Speaking at the start of the UEFA Congress in Helsinki, Ceferin told Europe’s top clubs that “money doesn’t rule” and promised to develop a “strategic vision” for European football within five years.
“We will never give in to the blackmail of those who think they can manipulate small leagues or impose their will on the small associations because they think they are all-powerful on account of the astronomical revenues they generate. Quite simply, money does not rule and the football pyramid must be and will be respected.
European football faces a huge disparity between the top leagues such as England’s Premier League and Germany’s Bundesliga and the smallest ones which struggle with poor revenues and falling attendances.
The Congress later approved measures restricting the president and executive committee members to a maximum of three four-year terms each.