UEFA hosts productive talks with Football Supporters Europe one year after failed breakaway
Thursday, 21 April 2022
UEFA supports fans’ initiative calling for EU law against so-called super leagues.
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Football Supporters Europe (FSE), the umbrella organisation of fan groups at European level, held a board meeting at the headquarters of European football’s governing body in Nyon on 20 April, and discussed a range of key football topics with senior UEFA representatives.
Following the meeting, UEFA announced its support for ‘Win It On the Pitch’ – a campaign driven by FSE that is petitioning the European Union (EU) to protect the principles of the European sports model (www.winitonthepitch.eu), based on principles such as sporting merit, promotion and relegation, and financial solidarity.
Yesterday’s important discussions took place exactly one year on from when the football community united against a so-called ‘super league’, with a spontaneous and widespread backlash from supporters, clubs, coaches, players, governing bodies and politicians leaving plans for the ill-fated proposal in tatters.
The episode has galvanised public and political support across Europe for long term concrete actions at EU level to prevent future attempts. The European Citizens’ Initiative, 'Win It On the Pitch', already officially registered by the European Commission, gives EU citizens and football fans the chance to put an end to the super league once and for all by collecting one million signatures by March 2023.
“Football belongs to its fans and they played a critical role in stopping last year’s shameless attempt by a few wealthy clubs to take it away. We applaud FSE for this European Citizens’ Initiative, which we fully encourage and support,” said UEFA General Secretary Theodore Theodoridis after meeting with the FSE board.
“The super league plot may have failed, but the fight is far from over. Win It On The Pitch is a simple way for ordinary citizens to demand the EU take action to secure the future of our most popular and played sport,” added FSE Executive Director Ronan Evain, thanking UEFA and its 55 member associations for their support.
“It is more important than ever for all stakeholders to come together to protect clubs and competitions across the continent, as well as the principles on which our game should be based,” said Mr Evain.
“The European sport model is based on popular principles such as sporting merit, promotion and relegation, and financial solidarity,” added Theodore Theodoridis. “Its principles must be protected at EU-level to ensure the sustainability of clubs, leagues, competitions, and communities.”
In addition to the European Citizens’ Initiative campaign, UEFA and the FSE also discussed several other collaborative projects. These included research into safe standing for fans in stadia, away fans hosting conditions and UEFA’s club competition reform proposals post-2024.
UEFA asks all football fans to sign the ‘Win It On The Pitch’ petition. Help protect football's future now at www.winitonthepitch.eu.