“There can always be less matches but also the salaries of the players and coaches have to adapt.”
Uefa president Alexsander Ceferin has warned managers and players, including Jurgen Klopp, that they will face a ‘pay cut’ if there are fewer Champions League games.
Ceferin was speaking in the aftermath of Jurgen Klopp, as well as Pep Guardiola and Ilkay Gundogan, speaking out against the increased number of matches from the new 2024 format.
The Uefa president says he will listen to all parties regarding the new Champions League Swiss model system which will see Europe’s premier football competition expand from 32 to 36 teams.
Every team that qualifies for the Champions League will go into a 36-team league table where each club will play 10 matches.
Under the Swiss model, teams play a set number of games rather than facing every other team in the league. The 10 matches each team will play will be decided by a seeding system.
The new format was voted in last Monday, and Ceferin insists that the drive for the change in format came directly from the clubs.
The 53-year-old has also responded to comments made by Klopp when the Liverpool manager argued that there were too many games in the new format, describing it as a “joke”.
The Slovenian insisted he is happy to make changes and reduce the number of games if that is what the majority of clubs wants, but this will come at a cost.
“Some coaches and players said too many matches. There can always be less matches but also the salaries of the players and coaches have to adapt. You cannot generate less and earn more all the time,” Ceferin told the Daily Mail.
“I read some people saying: ‘We don’t want more matches.’ I’m fine with that, really, I am. If the Champions League stays as it is, it will still be the best competition in the world.
“Our reforms came about because clubs need help responding to the financial crisis. We can carry on as we are but clubs will go out of business. And who does that hurt most? Their fans.
“So, while I understand what some people are saying, I’d ask them ‘What is your solution?’ We believe the reforms we are making have advantages for everyone.
“But we have been clear they are not fully set in stone so, if those people have better ideas that safeguard the future of football as well as ours, I will listen.”
The Liverpool manager spoke to reporters ahead of Liverpool’s 1-1 home draw with Newcastle United on Saturday.
“I have no problem with change. We all wanted to have the new Super League to go away, but at the same moment we have the new Champions League,” Klopp said.
“Who read this concept and said ‘oh, that’s perfect!’? Who tells me now that it’s not about money? It’s a joke!
“I said it before with the Nations League, or when FIFA wanted to have a Club World Cup. They don’t ask, they just introduce it. Why? Money.”
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