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Clubs invited to discuss 'pyramidal pan-European league'

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Clubs invited to discuss 'pyramidal pan-European league'
FILE PHOTO: The Chairman of the European Club Association (ECA) Andrea Agnelli attends a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland, September 5, 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse   -   Copyright  DENIS BALIBOUSE(Reuters)
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ZURICH (Reuters) – More than 200 European clubs have been invited to an assembly in June to discuss the future of UEFA competition including the idea of a “pyramidal Pan European League System.”

The European Club Association (ECA), which complained there had been “incorrect speculation and rumour” over future plans for UEFA competition, will also ask its 232 members whether they feel that more European football is good for the game.

The current European calendar runs until 2024 and the ECA, whose members include all of Europe’s biggest clubs and which is working with UEFA to devise new-look competitions, has said it wants more clubs playing more continental games.

However, the proposals have run into opposition from the English, French and Spanish leagues who argue that domestic football is more popular with the public.

In a letter seen by Reuters, ECA president Andrea Agnelli invited clubs to share their views on “some principles we feel are fundamental to the future of European football and around which we will seek to work with UEFA to evolve the club competitions.”

These included “a pyramidal Pan European League System with continuity and opportunity to grow from within” and “enhancement of mobility and dynamism across the system through carefully applied promotion and relegation.”

The letter did not say whether this would be a separate pyramid from domestic football, or how teams could qualify for the new league.

It did, however, say that European competition should remains as “an inclusive platform for all clubs, based on sporting meritocracy, not historical privilege” and should strive to retain “access and relevance” with domestic leagues.

(Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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