Carlo Ancelotti insists a European Super League ‘cannot happen’ and believes a relaxing of Financial Fair Play rules ‘could be a good step’.
Speculation surrounding a potential breakaway league has continued to circulate in recent months, amid a growing push from several of Europe’s elite for an increase in glamour fixtures against the best on the continent.
UEFA have moved to reduce the threat of a European Super League with new proposals to reformat the Champions League, increasing the number of participating teams and fixtures played in club football’s most prestigious competition.
Ancelotti believes that the concept of a Super League threatens the value of national competitions and has called for greater emphasis to be placed on domestic leagues, with the Everton manager insisting that a competitive division is the key to fans retaining interest.
“It is clear that if the national competitions lose interest and entertainment, then the concept of a Super League attracts more power,” he told The Athletic. “For a supporter, if it got to the stage that Everton could not hope to beat Manchester City, then I am not going to watch. I would prefer to watch Manchester City against Barcelona because it would be more entertaining.
“But for me, the Super League cannot happen. We have the Champions League. It’s enough, right? The Champions League pits the best against the best already. But the future of football must value the national competitions more. The schedule is really tough as it is. The players never rest.
“Now we have an international break but we have players who are going to play three games (for their countries in it). They do not stop, particularly during this season. If there were fewer games, it would give a chance to smaller teams to improve their quality and have a more competitive league. It is true this year that the Premier League is much more competitive; ourselves, West Ham, Aston Villa and Leeds, who have all done really well. But in the end, City will win the league by 15 points or whatever it is.
“We want to be able to hope that Everton could compete, within two or three years, with the very top teams. But with football as it is at the moment, Everton cannot compete (consistently at that level). We need more time. It is true that the stadium is one very important point to attract more income and be more competitive.”
Ancelotti also discussed Financial Fair Play and believes the ruling favours the biggest sides, admitting it is difficult for sides to break into the elite without the backing of substantial outside investment.
“The reality of FFP is that the richest clubs can invest,” he added. “It is a strange period anyway because all the clubs have now lost a lot of money in the pandemic. Therefore, there are not many big clubs who can sign big players. I cannot say necessarily FFP will preserve the biggest clubs but my worry is that, with FFP, you lose above all the interest in national competitions. There is going to be less possibility (for a domestic side) to overcome a Manchester United or Manchester City.”
Recent reports have suggested there could be a relaxation in FFP rules given the financial difficulties encountered by the coronavirus pandemic, allowing clubs to use greater funds from investors.
Ancelotti believes the move could be a ‘good step’ as football looks to recover from a difficult period, allowing owners to spend additional funds to reignite the sport’s economy.
“Everyone has suffered in the pandemic,” Ancelotti said. “If there is an owner who wants to inject money into football, then why not? It could be a good step.”