— Sports

European clubs get 2nd shot at UEFA Champions League deal

GENEVA (AP) – The future of the Champions League is at stake Friday when leaders of Europe’s top soccer clubs meet again to discuss a revamp stalled by their last-minute demands.

After being rebuked by UEFA last month for demanding too much control of multi-billion dollar commercial rights, the European Club Association board will meet virtually to seek a proposal the governing body can accept.

Both sides have largely agreed on a 36-team Champions League format that would guarantee each club 10 games instead of six – and more prize money. But at a meeting on March 30 that was meant to ratify the changes, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin sharply rebutted the ECA’s demands for control of a joint venture to run broadcasting and sponsorship sales.

UEFA is now looking for an agreement its executive committee can ratify at a meeting on Monday.

For the ECA, Friday’s talks shape up as one of the toughest tests since it was founded in 2008, promising UEFA to bring more democracy to European soccer.

The question is whether the ECA’s agenda will skew even more toward the wealthiest clubs – who often threaten a breakaway competition to replace the Champions League – or the common interests shared by all 246 of its members and fans across Europe typically resist change.

The last-minute demands that angered Ceferin were orchestrated by the wealthy elite, such as Real Madrid, Manchester United, and AC Milan, who make up some of the loudest voices on the ECA’s 28-member board.

The meeting could also determine how far the clubs think they can push UEFA in divvying up the billions of dollars the Champions League generates.

“I believe from what I hear that the clubs are going a little too far challenging UEFA,” former AC Milan official Umberto Gandini, one of the ECA leaders in 2008, told The Associated Press

Molly Aronson

Molly Aronson is a 26-year-old government politician who enjoys bowling, running and jigsaw puzzles. She is creative and exciting, but can also be very greedy and a bit greedy.She is an australian Christian who defines herself as straight. She has a post-graduate degree in philosophy, politics and economics. She is allergic to grasshoppers.

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