Barcelona President Sandro Rosell has told the media that he wants the domestic seasons to be cut for the expansion of European competitions while FIFA and UEFA should pay the players’ wages during international games.
Rosell is head of the European Clubs association (ECA) and has confirmed that he would like European games such as the Champions League to be played at the weekends and cut down on domestic league fixtures. Perhaps the President of the Catalan giants is only wishing for this because of his side’s superiority in their domestic league and often run away with games 4 or 5 nil.
He also wants Europe’s big leagues such as the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A to cut down from 20 teams to a 16 team league to accommodate such fixture changes. “We have to convince the Premier League to reduce to 16 [teams],” he said. “We could perhaps play Barcelona versus Manchester United on Saturdays.”
“It’s something all of them (the domestic leagues) would have to agree to,” he said. “The objective of reducing from 20 to 16 teams is to give more space to our players. “Then, once the dates are liberated, these dates are not for the (national) federations. “The dates are for the clubs to organise friendly games or to increase the European competitions.”
They would need the permission of UEFA to go ahead which such a plan but Rosell admitted that if the governing body don’t agree then the ECA cut well cut their agreement with UEFA when it expires in 2014. “We want to have the Champions League under the Uefa umbrella but we want them to hear our demands,” Rosell said. “If Uefa and the ECA reach an agreement then that’s good for both parties. “If not, with or without the Uefa umbrella, the ECA is entitled to organise their own champions’ competition by themselves of course. “We are not trying to eliminate dates for national teams – but the number of days our players are used by the national associations is huge.”
Rosell was speaking at a press conference in Doha, Qatar