American teams could face Champions League winners in new Super Cup
- Uefa wants four-team event in US at start of season
- Idea is to attract more families and female fans
American teams could be invited to take on the Champions League winners in a revamped Super Cup being considered by Uefa. Substantive discussions for a four-team season-opening event to replace the Super Cup are understood to be ongoing.
This would feature the winners of the Champions League and Europa League as is the case now, but also the winners of the Europa Conference League. The United States, considered the key growth market for European football, is the main destination under discussion and one option would be to include the host country’s champions – in this case, the winners of Major League Soccer – as the fourth team.
Uefa’s new English-language US broadcast rights deal for its men’s European club competitions represents a 150% improvement on its existing contract, with further revenue to be generated from the sale of Spanish-language rights.
It is understood there have not been serious talks at this stage about playing Champions League matches outside Europe. But the idea of an opening tournament to replace the Super Cup from 2024 is gaining traction as a means to drive more revenue, not just for the competing clubs but to European football as a whole, by attracting a new audience, with an emphasis on bringing in more families and female fans.
Sources have told PA that all options to achieve that would be considered, whether placing the matches within a weekend festival or having pop acts perform before games or at half-time. They point out that other sports have successfully taken matches into new markets, such as the NFL playing regular-season games in London.
Further discussions are set to take place at the European Club Association’s general assembly in Istanbul on Thursday and Friday, with the organisation keen to foster a spirit of innovation.