UEFA in talks over salary cap and ‘everyone agrees’ – Aleksander Ceferin

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UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin says he wants to introduce a salary cap in European football “as soon as possible”.

The Slovenian said limiting the amount a club can spend on player wages was “the solution” to protecting competitive balance, and said the issue was already under discussion with clubs.

UEFA is introducing new squad cost rules starting this summer which by 2025 will mean clubs’ spending on transfer fees and salaries must be no more than 70 per cent of their revenue.

“In the future we have to seriously think about a salary cap. If the budgets go sky-high then our competitive balance is a problem,” he told US media outlet Men In Blazers.

“It’s not about the owners, it’s about the value of the competition, because if five clubs will always win then it doesn’t make sense any more.

“I already spoke with some people from the European Commission, we are trying to push that.

“But it has to be a collective agreement – every league and UEFA. Because if we do it and the other leagues don’t, then it doesn’t make sense.

“Surprisingly, everyone agrees – big clubs, small clubs, state-owned clubs, billionaire-owned clubs, everybody agrees.

“I hope it can be made as soon as possible. We have just started to discuss about it, I think that’s the solution.

“So this is the future here, and I’m not afraid of the club owners being too powerful or anything. UEFA is leading the European competition and we have great relations with the European Club Association now.”

Ceferin also said it was “possible” UEFA could stage Champions League matches – even a final – in the United States in the future.

The PA news agency reported last September that substantive talks had taken place over a four-team Super Cup being played as a season-opening event in the US from 2024, potentially featuring the champions of Major League Soccer alongside the winners of UEFA’s three men’s club competitions.

However, Ceferin hinted that the biggest game of all in European club football may be played across the Atlantic in future.

“We have started to discuss about that, but one year it was the World Cup, (20)24 is Euro, this year (the final) is in Istanbul, ’24 is London and ’25 is Munich and after that, let’s see. It’s possible,” he said.

The Champions League trophy
Champions League games could be played in the US in the future, Aleksander Ceferin has said (Peter Byrne/PA)

Ceferin said he had been “shocked” by the appetite for top-level European football in the US.

“What shocked me is our Euro finals (in 2021) were watched by more people in the United States than the NBA finals,” he added.

“What shocked me in 30 matches of the Euro, every match viewership was a Super Bowl viewership, so I think we’re doing well.

“The problem is the time difference, because if you play (Champions League games on) Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 12 noon in LA, it’s a problem.”

Ceferin was also asked about the relationship between UEFA and FIFA.

“It’s a complicated relationship. I would not tell the truth if I would say differently,” he said.

“Now it’s a bit better because we put some red lines (in place) – don’t touch us, we don’t touch you.

Ceferin said UEFA's relationship with FIFA and its president Gianni Infantino was
Ceferin said UEFA’s relationship with FIFA and its president Gianni Infantino was “complicated” (Mike Egerton/PA)

“We are three to four times bigger financially than FIFA not just now since I’m here, but always FIFA has a problem that UEFA is too rich, we would like to take some, and UEFA says ‘it’s our competition, you cannot take it’.

“It’s a very different mentality I would say.”

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