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Context of 'November 30, 2007: UEFA Approves Changes to Champions League and Other Competitions'

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Former France and Juventus player Michel Platini (see 1982) is elected head of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), defeating the incumbent Lennart Johansson. Platini wins in the first round of voting, just obtaining an absolute majority from the 52 national associations that voted in a secret ballot. Johansson had been president for 16 years. One of Platini’s main goals, with which Johansson disagreed, was to limit the number of Champions League places to a maximum of three per country, rather than four, starting in 2009. Only England, Spain, and Italy currently have four Champions League places, so the move would hit them, and potentially benefit voters from all the other countries. In addition, Platini wants a cost control measure that limits clubs’ playing staff salary costs to “something like 50-60 percent of turnover,” as well as to combat racism and fraud, develop UEFA’s competitions, and gain recognition of football’s special status in European law. [BBC, 1/26/2007]

Entity Tags: Michel Platini, Lennart Johansson, Union of European Football Associations

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

UEFA approves several changes to the Champions League and other competitions it runs.
bullet The final of the Champions League will take place on a Saturday, instead of a Wednesday, from 2010. UEFA justifies the change by saying more children will be able to see the game. “I also hope that playing the UEFA Champions League final on a Saturday will give families, especially children, the chance to see the game,” says UEFA president Michel Platini. [BBC, 11/30/2007] The change of game day also means that the match, which is played in the late evening in Europe, is at a much more attractive time for the US market—2:45 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Saturday. This means that the game will become one of only a few such club football games ever shown live on US network television. [FoxSoccer, 5/17/2010] The cheapest child ticket for the 2011 Champions League final will be £113, will have to be purchased together with an adult ticket costing £225, and will be subject to a £26 “administration fee” (see February 17, 2011).
bullet Qualification for the Champions League is altered, making it harder for a fourth team from the three leading countries to qualify, to the benefit of smaller countries.
bullet The group stage in UEFA’s second most important club competition, the UEFA Cup, is altered, and there will now be 12 groups of four teams before the knockout stages.
bullet UEFA’s third-string competition, the Intertoto Cup, is abolished. [BBC, 11/30/2007]

Entity Tags: Union of European Football Associations, Michel Platini

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Real Mallorca appeals to the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to reverse a recent decision banning the club from next season’s Europa League. The club was banned from European competition (see (July 22, 2010)) because it is currently in administration and not in compliance with UEFA’s financial guidelines (see (May 19, 2010)). At the same time as the appeal, Mallorca issues a statement pointing out that the ban will make its financial situation worse, as it would deprive the club “of a series of revenue in different concepts, such as ticketing, sponsorship, and income from the competition.” It adds, “Ethically and legally, RCD Mallorca believes reason is on their side and [the club] will not relent in the effort to show that he has earned the right to challenge the Europa League.” [Goal, 7/26/2010]

Entity Tags: Real Mallorca, Union of European Football Associations

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

UEFA director of competitions Giorgio Marchetti thinks Champions League final tickets are not overpriced.UEFA director of competitions Giorgio Marchetti thinks Champions League final tickets are not overpriced. [Source: Getty Images] (click image to enlarge)UEFA announces the prices for the 2011 Champions League final, to be held in May at Wembley Stadium in London. Tickets will go on sale at £300, £225, £150, and £80, plus a £26 charge described as an “administration fee.” This represents a substantial increase over previous years. For example, just two years ago the £150 category three tickets cost only £80. The Champions League final was recently moved to Saturday, allegedly so that more children could attend (see November 30, 2007). However, only 500 discounted tickets are made available to children; they cost £113, have to be purchased with an adult ticket costing £225, and also incur the “administration fee,” giving a total cost of £364.
UEFA Justification - UEFA’s director of competitions Giorgio Marchetti insists the prices are based on the market rate and compare with those for the World Cup final. “The prices are based on the type of event and when you compare it to other events we don’t think that the Champions League final is overpriced,” he says. “This is the market price. Do you think we would have trouble filling Wembley if the prices were higher? Do you think it would be different? We try to strike a balance between the interest of supporters and the interest of the event. Why should we price the tickets lower than what we think is a fair level?”
'A Pretty Disgusting Cake' - However, the prices meet with disapproval from the media and fans. “These prices are absolutely outrageous and take ticket pricing to an absurdly stratospheric new level,” says Malcolm Clarke, chairman of the Football Supporters Federation. “In a difficult economic climate, not only in this country but across Europe, where supporters may be coming from, this represents disgraceful exploitation of fans.” He adds: “To ask fans to fork out between £150 and £300 for a single match ticket is outrageous and strikes as profiteering at the supporters’ expense. That’s before we even get started on the £26 administration fee which is the cherry on top of a pretty disgusting cake. UEFA should be ashamed of themselves and there is no way of justifying such a high fee. It is totally unacceptable whatever country the supporters are from but it will be particularly harsh on fans coming from abroad who have to add travel costs.” [Guardian, 2/18/2011]

Entity Tags: Union of European Football Associations, Football Supporters Federation, Giorgio Marchetti, Malclom Clarke

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

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