G14 pleased by Platini desire to discuss plans
Wednesday 16 April 2003
Europe's most powerful clubs have reacted with caution to comments by the man who aspires to the presidency of European football's governing body, Michel Platini, that the Champions' League needs to be radically restructured.
Platini, who is widely tipped to take over the helm at Uefa at some stage, believes the Champions' League should return to being a pure knock-out tournament. But G14, the organisation representing 18 of Europe's richest clubs, including Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United, warns that any such changes would require consultation with clubs to ensure fairness.
"It is important that the clubs be involved in any discussion of the future of the competitions, not just G14 but also the European Club Forum," the G14 spokesperson, Genevieve Berti, said. G14 were unhappy that they were not consulted fully over the most recent changes to the Champions' League, which will see the second group stage dumped in favour of earlier move into elimination next season. "Our opposition to the changes was the manner in which it was decided with no consultation with the clubs," she said.
Platini, however, is aware that such talks are necessary. "One must talk with the G14," said the former French international, who is the vice-president of the French Federation. "I am ready for each discussion, but underline the competition belongs to Uefa and not G14," he said, although he dismissed the possibility that the big clubs would dominate proceedings.
Berti, who said the key concerns for G14 would be footballing rather than financial, was pleased to hear about Platini's attitude. "At last someone has recognised us. That is far more than anyone in the football family, apart from Fifa president Sepp Blatter, has been prepared to do," she said. "Clubs are practical and if they know what the calendar is then they can tailor their financial plans to that."
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food