American teams may be invited to take on the Champions League winners in a revamped Super Cup under consideration by UEFA. Substantive discussions are underway about a season opening with four teams to replace the Super Cup.
This would include the winners of the Champions League and Europa League as it is now, but also the winners of the Europa Conference League. The United States, considered the main growth market for European football, is the main destination under discussion and an option would be to include the champions of the host nation – in this case the winners of Major League Soccer – as the fourth team. .
UEFA’s new Anglophone US broadcast rights deal for its European men’s club competitions represents a 150% improvement over its existing contract, and further revenue will be generated from the sale of Hispanic rights.
Obviously there have been no serious talks at this stage about playing Champions League matches outside of Europe. But the idea of an opening tournament to replace the Super Cup from 2024 is gaining traction as a means of generating more revenue, not only for the competing clubs but for European football as a whole, by attracting a new audience, with the emphasis on bringing in more families and female fans.
Sources have told PA that all options to achieve that would be considered, whether putting the matches in a weekend festival or having pop acts perform before the matches or at halftime. They point out that other sports have successfully brought competition to new markets, such as the NFL playing regular season games in London.
Further discussions will take place at the general meeting of the European Club Association in Istanbul on Thursday and Friday, with the organization keen to foster a spirit of innovation.