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    Champions League last eight format with single-game knockouts is ‘more exciting’ and could stay, says Uefa boss

    UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has hinted the single-game format of this season’s Champions League last eight could be revisited.
    The competition’s usual two-legged knockout stage was changed after the coronavirus crisis forced Uefa to hit pause on the 2019-20 European football season and reschedule the remainder of the tournament.


    Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin has hinted the Champions League’s single-game format could returnCredit: REUTERS
    The quarter-finals onwards have been played as one-off games in Lisbon and ahead of tonight’s final between Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, Ceferin has suggested the format could return in the future.
    He told Reuters: “We were forced to do it but in the end we see that we found out something new.
    “So we will think about it in the future for sure.
    “[There has been] not so much tactics. If it is one match, if one team scores then the other has to score as soon as possible.

    “If it is two legged system then there is still time to win the next match.
    “More exciting matches for sure but of course we also have to think about the fact that we have less matches and broadcasters [can] say €˜you don’t have as many matches as before, this is different€™ so we will have to discuss when this crazy situation ends.”

    Discussions are due later this year over the Champions League’s future structure with the usual format contractually locked in until the end of the 2023-24 season.
    As Ceferin explains, television rights holders for the Champions League would likely take issue with Uefa dropping two-legged ties from the calendar.

    Furthermore, the last eight mini-tournament has been played behind closed doors over the course of 11 days but a similar format with fans present in a single city could be a logistical nightmare.
    Nonetheless, Ceferin remains open to the prospect of a revamp.
    He added: “Look for sure it is a very interesting format. Now, I doubt as much as the calendar is now, that we could do a final eight [tournament], because it would take too much time.
    “But a format with one match and a system like it is now, I think it would be much more exciting than the format that was before.

    “If we would play this system then, but we haven’€™t discussed with anyone its just an idea, we would play in one city.
    “If you play in one city, you can have a week of football or something like that. But it is far too early to think about it.
    “We have seen it as a big success and the viewership over TV has been huge, maybe it also good because it is August and people are at home, some of them at least, but interesting, interesting tournament.”

    Bayern Munich DESTROY Barcelona in masterful Champions League quarter-final in Lisbon More

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    MP calls for Euro 2021 games at Wembley to be played nationwide to aid Britain’s Covid recovery

    EURO Championship games due to be played at Wembley should be staged around Britain to boost the coronavirus recovery nationwide, according to a leading MP.
    Next year’s delayed Euro 2020 tournament will see three England games, a last 16 match, both semi finals and the final played at the national stadium, but acting Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey has written to the FA and UEFA to have the games played across the UK.
    ⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates


    An MP believes the Euro Championship games at Wembley should be staged around Britain to boost other regionsCredit: PA:Press Association


    Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey told The Sun: ‘Let these matches give a kick-start to places hit hard by Covid’Credit: The Mega Agency
    They are calling for games to be played at St James’ Park, in Newcastle, Old Trafford, in Manchester, Anfield, in Liverpool, and Leicester’s King Power stadium instead.
    Sir Ed told The Sun: “We should spread football cheers around our country, and let these matches give a kick-start to places hit hard by Covid.
    “If it is safe, I want Boris Johnson to get his Government to work with UEFA and make use of the fantastic stadiums around the country. Let’s show off our whole country – we’re proud of every town and city, not just London.”

    The letter, to FA Chief Mark Bullingham, UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Sport can be a great healer to many and the rescheduled Men’s Euro 2020 fixtures next summer will be a tremendous opportunity to raise both the nation’s spirits and stimulate the economy across the nation.
    “Currently England are scheduled to play all their group games in London. Wembley is also hosting a last 16 game, the semi-finals and final.


    Next year’s delayed Euro 2020 tournament will see three England games played at the national stadiumCredit: Alamy

    “England has some fantastic stadia across the country and it feels like a missed opportunity not to spread the joy that these games will bring and the inevitable boost to the economy around the regions.
    “If it can be done, in a safe way, I’d urge you to work with UEFA to explore the possibility at spreading both the Euro 2020 fixtures and England’s warm-up games out around the country, in the same way that you have been able to do with the Women’s European Championship in 2022.”

    Yesterday the FA said Euro scheduling was down to UEFA, and the governing body did not reply to comment.

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    Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool named among NINE clubs who tried to stop Man City suspending Euro ban

    NINE Premier League clubs including Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool tried to stop Manchester City getting their European ban overturned.
    City were slapped with a ban from all Uefa European competitions for two seasons and fined £27million in February after “serious breaches” of Financial Fair Play.


    Pep Guardiola’s side had their European ban overturned despite nine clubs writing to CAS
    But the Court of Arbitration for Sport controversially overturned the ban earlier this month, and cut City’s bill to just £9m after an appeal.
    On Tuesday, the court released a 92-page document with full details from the case, revealing the reasons behind their decision.
    The conclusions show that, while Pep Guardiola’s side showed “a blatant disregard” of Financial Fair Play principles, Uefa had failed to prove they broke the rules.

    It is also revealed that almost HALF of City’s Premier League rivals wrote to the court to oppose City asking for a “stay of execution” on their ban.

    Burnley, Leicester, Newcastle, Spurs and Wolves were the other sides to come forward.

    The statement read: “On March 9 2020, nine Premier League clubs filed an application for intervention…for the limited purpose of opposing any possible application by MCFC to request for a stay of execution of the Appealed Decision.”
    City were confident of seeing their ban overturned before the case was held, stating that they had “irrefutable evidence” to support their argument.
    They sent an army of NINE lawyers to fight their case and ultimately received the outcome they were looking for much to the delight of Guardiola and his coaching staff.

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    Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp fears start of European Super League after Man City ruling and ban being overturned

    JURGEN KLOPP fears that the formation of a European Super League could soon become a reality after Manchester City’s Champions League ban was overturned.
    The Liverpool boss had claimed that rival clubs will cease to “care” for Financial Fair Play after Pep Guardiola’s side were cleared of financial wrong-doing by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.


    Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has shared the wider implications of overturning Manchester City’s Champions League banCredit: EPA
    A two year Champions League ban imposed by Uefa was overturned – meaning they can play in the competition next year.
    The CAS panel found that any wrongdoing was either “not established” or “time-barred” and reduced the sentence to a mere £9.1million fine.
    Klopp revealed that he was pleased City won their case because Liverpool would have little hope of retaining their Premier League crown if their rivals had no European commitments next term.
    But the German boss admitted his concerns about the wider implications for football, with the City judgment opening the door to unlimited spending.

    He said: “If you start allowing people not to care about it anymore and the richest people or countries can do what they want in football, that will make the competition really difficult.

    It is a little bit like Formula One, if you open the door to a private jet and you see who is quicker, the aeroplane will win
    Jurgen Klopp

    “I think that would lead automatically then to a kind of world super league with 10 clubs.
    “I don’t know exactly which clubs, that depends on the name of the clubs and the people who own the clubs and then they can play against each other.
    “It is a little bit like Formula One, if you open the door to a private jet and you see who is quicker, the aeroplane will win. If the cars are in a specific way, then the best driver wins.”

    SunSport revealed in May that the threat of a new European Super League is growing because of football’s financial meltdown across the Continent.
    One proposal is to have a single league of 20 to 22 of the biggest clubs, including Liverpool, without promotion and relegation.
    Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli led the last attempt to restructure the European game in 2019 but his ideas were swatted away by Uefa.

    City meanwhile are now expected to press ahead with a summer spending spree to try and catch up with Liverpool.
    Klopp and Jose Mourinho have both had their say about the decision on Tuesday morning.
    And Etihad chief Pep believes that several clubs owe them an apology after they were cleared of wrong-doing.

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    Man City’s Champions League ban overturn is a total shambles, the end of FFP and opens floodgates for transfer splurge

    A TOTAL shambles. And the end of Financial Fair Play.
    At least, that was the immediate response to the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision to wipe out Manchester City’s two-year Uefa ban.


    Man City’s Champions League ban has been overturned by Uefa
    Understandably, too.
    After all, City have long argued the very concepts that initially underpinned FFP, an attempt to prevent clubs amounting catastrophic debts, had been subverted into something very different.
    Instead, City – and others – have insisted FFP became a tool of the “cartel” – the existing cabal of Europe’s elite clubs who did not want interlopers breaking into, or breaking up, their cosy little club.
    City, with their Abu Dhabi financial backers, and PSG, effectively the sporting arm of the Qatari government, represented both a huge threat and an unwelcome, unwanted challenge.

    Uefa, it was felt, became too protective of the old guard, insufficiently willing to allow the existing order to be threatened.

    In truth, it was more complicated than that.
    We will not know for certain why City won their case until later this week when the full CAS award is published.
    But the outline statement hinted Uefa’s biggest problem was failing to follow its OWN rulebook.

    CAS explained the three Judges in Lausanne had determined “most of the alleged breaches reported by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body were either not established or time-barred”.
    In other words, there was not enough evidence to stand up some of the allegations – and the others took place outside the five-year statute of limitations.
    That there will be casualties inside Uefa is evident, no matter what the full CAS ruling says.
    City pointed accusatory fingers in the direction of the head of the investigations unit – former Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme.
    They will now expect his head on a platter. And probably get it.
    After all Uefa have been left humiliated and embarrassed – not to mention significantly out of pocket.
    But Uefa President Aleksander Ceferin, who has sought to build bridges in recent months – he visited the Etihad on a number of occasions – may be able to hide behind the independence of the procedure.


    Uefa president Alexsander Ceferin had tried to build bridges with City in recent months


    Uefa’s head of their investigations unit Yves Leterme was heavily criticised by City
    Uefa “contract out” financial and off-field rule prosecutions to the investigations unit. It gives the European governing body enough wriggle room to claim they were not responsible.
    Ceferin had on a number of occasions also suggested there was a “concrete case” but he also insisted: “Look, as a lawyer I respect the system.
    “The system we have is an investigations chamber and an adjudicatory chamber, and then we have CAS in Lausanne.
    “For some administrators it’s a problem if you have an independent body. For me it’s a privilege.”
    Yet even in March, three months before City’s three-day CAS hearing, Ceferin was publicly recognising FFP in its current incarnation was no longer apt and fitting.
    He said: “It’s too early to say how it will look in the future but we are thinking about it and will probably have to adapt it.
    “FFP has been very successful. Now there are no losses or very few, so we will have to adapt it to different times. Our experts are in discussion.”
    Within weeks, European football was shutdown by the Covid-19 crisis, which led to the first stage of the FFP reset.
    Uefa has already announced that clubs will not have to open their 2019-20 books for inspection until after the 2020-21 season, allowing two years’ worth of finances to be measured.


    Pep Guardiola could be seen grinning ear-to-ear at the news in a now-deleted Instagram postCredit: Instagram
    It means that the next FFP cases are unlikely to be announced for THREE years, by which time the rules will have been rewritten considerably.
    In the meantime, City will feel liberated to spend, spend, spend.
    Those clubs – Chelsea in particular – that have tightened their belts to meet the requirements may feel they have wasted their time and look to follow the City splurge.
    If the proposed Saudi owners are given the go ahead to buy Newcastle the floodgates look open there too.
    Whatever the exact details, things have changed. The only question is by how much.
    But it seems likely Uefa may have to go back to something approaching the original principles of FFP as a protective measure not a punishment regime.

    City’s win may be as much about process as facts. But the repercussions will be immense.
    Pep Guardiola was pictured grinning with his staff in a now deleted Instagram post after the decision was announced.
    And Manchester United and Chelsea fans were fuming with the news as it will affect their ability to qualify for this season’s Champions League.

    Man City’s two-year Champions League ban OVERTURNED by CAS More

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    Uefa plan to keep transfer window open until October sparking three-month scramble for clubs to land top targets

    EUROPEAN clubs could operate in a three-month transfer window running until October, in new plans unveiled by Uefa. Each country’s association determines its exact markets dates but the coronavirus pandemic has forced a re-think of how players can be bought and sold. Jadon Sancho and Paul Pogba are set to feature in two of the […] More

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    Champions League and Europa League to be played in ONE host city from quarter-final stage onward under new Uefa plans

    UEFA plan to complete this season’s Champions League and Europa League competitions by playing all rounds from the quarter-finals onwards in one host city. Both competitions were put on hold at the last-16 stage in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the Champions League final in Istanbul and the Europa League showpiece in Gdansk […] More