There is no chance for Saudi clubs to join the Champions League

Nasser Al-Khelaifi in the Paris Saint-Germain match in the French League against Lens - Nasser Al-Khelaifi: There is no chance for Saudi clubs to join the Champions League
Paris Saint-Germain European Clubs Association President Nasser Al-Khelaifi was speaking in Berlin – Getty Images / Jan Katov

The most powerful man in European football, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, says there is no chance that European clubs will be given a chance Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaIt will give the new financial powers a place in the elite competition of the European Champions League.

Spending explosion in the Saudi Professional League (SPL) – €878m in fees alone for Europe’s top-flight clubs this year – has raised the possibility that the influence they have bought in the game could eventually lead to participation in UEFA’s biggest competition.

Cristiano RonaldoAnd Karim Benzema and Neymar are among those now playing in the Premier League – with suggestions that Saudi Arabia could pressure UEFA to take part in the competition in the future. Al-Khelaifi, who heads Paris Saint-Germain and holds the same position in the European Club Association, said there is no possibility of SPL clubs in UEFA, but he did not rule out playing the European Super Cup there.

Speaking at the closing of the European Clubs Association’s General Assembly in Berlin, Al-Khelaifi said that if clubs fear the Saudi threat, they should not sell their players. A number of Premier League clubs have done this including Liverpool, Manchester city, Fulham And Wolverhampton Wanderers. The biggest fee achieved was for Paris Saint-Germain Who sold Neymar to Al-Hilal for 90 million euros.

Al-Khulaifi, A The State of Qatar National, who is also chairman of Qatari broadcasting giant beIN Sports, said it would be “extremely difficult” for the SPL to break into UEFA competition regardless of the players they have at their disposal. “Because today we are trying to develop and grow…let more European clubs participate in European competition. Small and medium clubs want that.

“I don’t see other clubs from abroad coming to Europe. Listen, I don’t know what will happen in a few years, but today I don’t see anyone from abroad playing here. If there is a Super Cup or something like that, why not But playing in a European Championship, if you’re not European – you know better than me – I don’t see that.”

Europe’s biggest clubs have announced a revenue-sharing agreement with UEFA for the next three seasons, with the European Club Association promising to pay 10 per cent of broadcasting income and annual commercial income of €4.4 billion to non-participating clubs. Al-Khelaifi was at the center of those negotiations with UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin.

One of the main topics of discussion in the European Clubs Association has been Saudi influence, and the doubts European clubs have about the ability to pay fees. Qatar’s strained relationship with its Gulf neighbour, Saudi Arabia, will be evident in the group stages of this autumn’s Champions League. newcastle, It is owned by a consortium led by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (Public Investment Fund) will face Paris Saint-Germain, which is owned by Qatar Sports Investments.

It will be the latest display of soft power by the two fossil-fuel-rich countries on the world stage. When asked about the legacy of the beIN Sports piracy by Saudi Arabia, Al-Khelaifi claimed that he is “not a politician” even though he knows full well that his job revolves around sitting at the heart of politics for the biggest sport in the world. “I am not a politician. I am.” [about] Sport,” he says. “Football for me brings people together. I’m very proud and happy to play against Newcastle home and away, along with our clubs. This is football.”

In response to a question about the possibility of setting global regulations for financial fair play, Al-Khulaifi said that the question should be directed to FIFA. He said, “My role is to focus more on Europe … and the sustainability of European clubs.” “But, listen, most clubs have sold their players to them [SPL]. So, if we are not happy, why would we sell our players to them? this is the truth.

“Is it dangerous [the threat to European football dominance]? If you ask the clubs, some of them will say, “Yes.” Some of them say “no”. Some of them are happy, some of them are unhappy. I told you my opinion. If there is danger, European clubs will not calm down. So far, I don’t see any danger.”

Al-Khelaifi said he supports a new FIFA Club World Cup that will kick off in 2025 with 32 teams participating as a summer tournament – seen as a direct competitor to UEFA for global broadcast revenues. He also claimed that he would welcome him back real madrid And Barcelona, the only two Rebels remaining in the European Premier League. There are currently no members of the Economic Commission for Africa. the third, Juventus left this year. “Now there are only two,” Al-Khelaifi said. “Every six months there is one less. They are going slowly but in the right direction.”

For many clubs across Europe, declining TV revenues for domestic leagues mean their only growth is in trading players or increasing revenue from European competition. Celtic chairman Peter Lowell, who sits on the ECA board, said his club’s broadcast earnings were £3m a year, compared to £140m – including umbrella payments – for the 20th-placed team in the Premier League.

Al-Khulaifi said that the clubs will be able to set a maximum salary cap. “If you ask all the clubs here, no one wants to lose money, no one from the biggest to the smallest,” he said. “If we can legally work out a way that the rules allow us to do, everyone will support it. Absolutely. No one will say no. That’s what we want. But is it legal? Can we do it? I don’t know but everyone will want to make money, not lose money.

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