Eindhoven, December 18th 2000 – AFC Ajax Amsterdam, Brøndby, Celtic FC, Club Brugge, FC København, Feyenoord Rotterdam, Glasgow Rangers FC, PSV Eindhoven, RSC Anderlecht, SL Benfica and Sporting Clube de Portugal, the eleven clubs united in the EuroLeague initiative, state that they seriously doubt whether the ten principles for European club football, as issued by UEFA Friday December 15th, are in their consequences compatible with European law. The clubs are pleased that the UEFA Executive Committee formally acknowledged the problems they are facing.

Nevertheless they feel strongly disappointed by the fact that UEFA doesn’t seem to recognize the urgency of the situation. By rejecting a solution without suggesting any alternative the clubs conclude that UEFA doesn’t feel a real urge for taking positive action to solve the problems.

In their statement on club football, UEFA agreed that measures should be taken to address the growing disparities within European club football. According to the ten principles for European club football that UEFA has sketched, the clubs hardly can imagine any long-term solutions from these investigations. The timeframe UEFA has sketched for these investigations also shows a lack of genuine involvement from UEFA.

The clubs involved will as soon as possible discuss with the FA’s involved and their domestic leagues which next steps are to be taken to address the growing problems the smaller European club competitions are facing. The clubs will continue designing and investigating reformation scenarios for European club football. As long as no realistic alternative scenarios are proposed, the EuroLeague concept will be – amongst others – subject of the ongoing investigations of the clubs involved.

The critical situation of the clubs involved was the central theme of a meeting with UEFA on December 12. Purpose of the meeting was to update UEFA on the results of their recent investigations on the economics of European club football. During this meeting the clubs stated that their aim is to come to a structure in which the several issues and various scenarios can be discussed in a broad perspective with all relevant stakeholders. In a statement on club football that UEFA issued last Friday, the UEFA Executive Committee declares that they agreed to open up a discussion on future formats for UEFA club competitions. The Executive Committee rejects the EuroLeague concept but they invite clubs and leagues to the forthcoming discussions on future concepts.

Allan MacDonald, CEO of Celtic FC states, ‘By rejecting a possible solution without suggesting any alternative, UEFA has shouldered a heavy responsibility. We presented the EuroLeague concept as a solution and not as the solution to our problems. Instead of coming up with an alternative or any suggestions, UEFA sketched ten principles that put extra restrictions to finding a possible solution.’

For further information about this subject please contact:

Michel van Schie
Tel: + 31 (0) 70 416 16 66
Fax: + 31 (0) 70 416 16 96