A month after the climax of the European club football season, the first draws of the 2013/14 campaign signify the start of new hopes and dreams in what UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino said would be "a long and exciting adventure".
Speaking ahead of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League first and second qualifying round draws in Nyon on Monday, Mr Infantino said: "The draws today mark the start of a long and exciting adventure that winds through the season. You will be sharing in this adventure – and you have every right to dream that along the way, your club will create headlines with positive performances and memorable goals."
Mr Infantino said "the UEFA Champions League is the top club competition in the world, loved by fans across the globe" and in reference to the UEFA Europa League, he added: "It is a truly pan-European competition and a competition that so many clubs can win."
While noting the excitement that a new term brings, the UEFA General Secretary also reminded clubs that it also marked the beginning of the break-even rule as part of the financial fair play regulations. "This rule aims at ensuring the long-term viability of football clubs in Europe and ensuring they do not spend more than they earn," Mr Infantino said. "The objective is not to punish clubs but to help clubs."
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