FIFA has been warned there is “no room” in the calendar for its new Club World Cup and that the competition will harm domestic leagues.
The 32-team tournament, set to feature 12 European clubs including the last two Champions League winners Chelsea and Real Madrid, was first announced by FIFA president Gianni Infantino in December.
The concept has since gained the support of Europe’s top clubs via the European Club Association, but the World Leagues Forum – currently chaired by Premier League chief executive Richard Masters – says it has not been consulted on the matter.
Claus Thomsen, a director of the European Leagues body which represents 40 competitions across the continent including the Premier League and the EFL, urged FIFA to reconsider.
“The world does not need more club competitions in the international match calendar,” he said at the European Leagues General Assembly in Prague.
“It is detrimental because there is no room. It’s not good for the players. It creates little value in the markets. It takes value out of the markets where common commercial deals are done domestically.
“If you need to pay for a new tournament, then it takes money away from another tournament. I haven’t heard that the media companies have had rising incomes lately, I’ve heard the opposite. So it’s not good.
“What I think FIFA should seriously consider is how to invest in the development outside Europe. I think that would be fantastic.
“We need to make everything sustainable. We do not need endless growth. We need sustainability and to protect the culture and the communities around football.”
FIFA has been approached for comment.
European Leagues also called on UEFA to increase the share of its club competition revenue that it gives to talent development programmes at top-flight clubs not involved each season from the current four per cent to 10 per cent. Based on revenue projections for the 2024 to 2027 cycle this ‘solidarity’ payment would amount to 480 million euros (around £423m) per year.
European Leagues managing director Jacco Swart described it as a “good and fair” proposal, estimating that the change would see non-participating clubs earning 750,000 euros instead of the current 250,000.
He expected average income for Champions League participants to rise from 62m to 72m euros and for Europa League and Europa Conference League participants to rise from 11m to 12.5m, though these figures will vary wildly between clubs because of how money is split on historic coefficient and the size of the television market pool in each country.
European Leagues is determined to address the competitive imbalance it believes this causes, with the club at the top of the Czech league, for instance, expected to earn 49 times more than the club at the bottom once domestic and European revenues are factored in.
European Leagues also signed a joint declaration with UEFA, the ECA, Football Supporters Europe and world players’ union FIFPRO in support of the European sports model of open competition.
The declaration comes as European football awaits a decision from the European Court of Justice on the Super League. The 15 judges in the court’s Grand Chamber must decide whether UEFA and FIFA abused a dominant position in the market under EU competition law by first blocking the creation of the league in April 2021 and then seeking to sanction the clubs involved.