Aurelio De Laurentiis / Photo: © Daniele Buffa / Image nella / Global Look Press
Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis called for reforms in European football.
– The system no longer works. The Champions League and Europa League do not generate enough income for clubs to justify their participation in them… You need more top-tier players to be competitive. This means that you have to spend more money – and prize money in European competitions does not take this into account. That’s why clubs need to talk to each other to come up with a more modern and lucrative tournament for everyone involved.
We need to reduce the number of games by reducing the size of the top divisions across Europe. Besides, it is necessary to create a European league with a democratic entry systembased on the teams’ achievements in domestic competitions. I have studied the project and am ready to contribute 10 billion euros, but we need readiness and complete independence.
If we don’t change the rules of the game and improve the spectacle, young people will leave us, and football will cease to be a central part of our life. My research shows that people between the ages of eight and 25 stopped watching football and preferred to play with smartphones – they completely changed our children.
I am not saying that the habit of watching football in the stadium will disappear, but now we have a “virtual stadium” that can attract billions of people to play against each other. Who knows if we can get them back on track as the greatest and most influential sport in the world? – said De Laurentiis.
In mid-April, the Super League was launched with the participation of 12 top teams, but two days later it was suspended. Nine clubs have announced their withdrawal from the project, but Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona continue to insist on the need for a radical overhaul of the current tournament system in European football.