Middlesbrough supporters' passionate campaign earns response from UEFA chief
A passionate campaign by Middlesbrough fans to stop a potential European Super League has reached the top corridors of UEFA.
The Middlesbrough Supporters’ Forum sent a letter to UEFA President Alexander Ceferin after rumours of a breakaway division, open only to the elite of European football, intensified.
There were fears that the creation of such a division would prohibit Boro from achieving a long-term aim of qualifying for European football or following in the footsteps of Leicester City’s famous top flight triumph.
But Ceferin has eased fears of a breakaway division, insisting it is ‘not possible’.
In a letter written in response to Middlesbrough supporters, he said: “Football competitions are and must remain open, through a promotion/relegation system based on on-field performance and fuelled by solidarity of the rich to the poor.
“Domestic competitions are the bread and butter of fans. They enjoy and will continue to enjoy week-end scheduling.
“I value very much this opportunity to clarify that there has never been a concept of European Super League considered by UEFA in the notion you describe of a competition reserved to a handful of powerful clubs selected on the basis of their history/brand/renown, cutting themselves off the rest of the system.
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“As President of this organisation, I promise that our efforts will always be focusing on these two objectives: keeping the UEFA Champions League the best club competition in the world and making access to the UEFA competitions system open to as many clubs as possible.
“As you see, a closed Super League is simply not possible.”
The response was met with warmth by Forum Chair Chris Joseph, who was pleased with Ceferin’s response.
“This message from the President of the governing body of football In Europe could not be clearer and it has implications for every part of the game and at every level, from the Champions League to the grass roots,” he said.
“We asked Mr Ceferin for an assurance that despite the continuing efforts from some of the richest clubs to make the game exclusive and purely for their own commercial interests UEFA remains committed to openness and true competition and we are delighted that he has given such a clear and positive response.”