Uefa president name-checks Celtic and Rangers as he hits out at European Super League plans

Aleksander Ceferin has pointed to Celtic and Rangers as examples of clubs needed to make European competitions both thrive and survive.

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin (left) with Celtic majority shareholder Dermot Desmond at a Europa League encounter in 2019. Picture: SNS
Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin (left) with Celtic majority shareholder Dermot Desmond at a Europa League encounter in 2019. Picture: SNS

The Uefa president has hit back at plans for a European Super League which would see the top six clubs in England, along with three each from Spain and Italy, playing in their own closed-shop 12-team format.

Ceferin insists clubs outside of the European elite, like Glasgow’s big two, holding ambitions of one day breaking into the elite of European football is what makes the Champions League and Europa League the competitions they are.

He also stated that it would be unfair for some clubs, who previously weren’t regular contenders for the Champions League crown, to rig the system so they don’t ever have to worry about missing out in future and the potentially dire financial implications that would come with it.

He said: "UEFA competitions needs Atalanta, Celtic, Rangers, Dinamo Zagreb and Galatasaray. People to know everyone has a chance. We need to keep the dream alive. Big clubs now were not necessarily big clubs in past and no guarantee there will be big in future.

"Where were Manchester United in the decade before Sir Alex Ferguson arrived on the scene? And where were Juventus 15 years ago?

"For some supporters have become consumers, competitions have become products. After the final whistle it is no longer league tables they consult but viewing figures and share prices. Champions League elimination is no longer a sporting failure, it is an industrial risk that some are unwilling to take.

Ceferin turned his attention directly to the six English clubs looking to break away, saying: "Gentlemen, you made a huge mistake. What matters is that there is still time to change your mind. Everyone makes mistakes.

"Come to your senses, not out of love for football, because I imagine some of you don't have much of that, but out of respect for those who bleed themselves dry so that they can go to the stadium to support the team and want the dream to be kept alive. For those, you (must) change your mind.”

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