European Club Association logo.

The soccer news starts with what’s now an old concern. At some point, it only makes sense that the elite clubs of Europe will decide that they’re better off on their own. UEFA’s attempts to mullify those clubs will eventually run itself out. European soccer’s governing body can only give so much before there’s a super league by default. If that’s the situation, why would the clubs need UEFA?

Well, the latest attempt to all but close off the Champions League to the elite may have already hit the wall. AP reported on Thursday that UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin is postponing a meeting with the European Club Association about the next revamp of the Champions League. Earlier today, the European Club Association met to continue their planning for what they want from the competition.

“As part of Phase One of the consultation process, multiple member forums and bilateral meetings have been held with ECA members from across Europe,” reads the ECA statement. “The aim has been to debate the principles behind the vision, seek feedback and input from members, and assess the best ways to develop the UEFA Club Competitions over the long term. ECA members have embraced this process, with clubs from across all four ECA subdivisions and dozens of countries engaging in constructive, thoughtful and informed debate on the generally accepted need for reform and the potential shape of competitions.”

According to reports, what the ECA wants is a mostly closed off Champions League with the Europa League serving as a qualifying tournament for a limited promotion and relegation system. Underneath that would be the Europa League 2, an open competition similar to the current Europa League. Why the bulk of the European clubs would want this, much less UEFA itself, is the open question hanging over these discussions. It’s a design intended to benefit the elite, and eventually there’s the expectation of a push back.

When or if that happens, it could further isolate the elite clubs from the rest. That’s probably not what UEFA wants, stuck in the position of appeasing Europe’s biggest clubs while acting as Europe’s governing body. Their Champions League is already far removed from the European Cup, at this point an ideal that has no chance of a comeback. The Champions League is about the elite clubs from the elite leagues already. It’s no surprise that those clubs not only want more, but they believe UEFA will give it to them.

The Montreal Gazette’s Steve Buffery looks at the Toronto vs Montreal final in the Canadian Championship. The Toronto Sun’s Steve Buffery explains the squad issues for Toronto. MLSsoccer’s Tom Bogert talks to Colorado Rapids forward Kei Kamara about moving teams as a proven goalscorer.

The Guardian’s Sid Lowe previews the 2019-20 La Liga season by looking at the transfers.

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