- 30% of Champions League bonuses based on the club’s historical European performance
- Despite his arguments against funding model changes, Marshall admits the sport needs reform
European Club Association (ECA) chief executive Charlie Marshall has insisted that historically successful European football clubs should still receive a bigger share of UEFA Champions League television revenue.
UEFA’s current model allocates 30% of tournament prize money based on a club’s historical performance in European competitions over the past ten seasons. With format changes due to be made to the Champions League from 2024, smaller teams and the Football Supporters Europe (FSE) group have also called for changes to the financial distribution system.
However, the ECA, which represents 245 major European football clubs, has a different view on the matter. Marshall, the organisation’s chief executive, believes the existing model is working well and does not need to be abandoned in the future, although he has previously admitted the sport needs reform.
“There is a place for [the coefficient ranking]. It’s so fundamental to the whole construction of the European football pyramid from top to bottom,” Marshall told The Times.
“That is also what ECA membership is based on, a coefficient of four years, so without saying the details of the number of years [the coefficient should be based on] or what percentage [of the financial split]the concept of coefficient is fundamental for the whole of european football.
“It worked pretty well with [coefficient distribution]. It might not have worked so well if he hadn’t been there, and that’s not enough for some.
The ESF argues that coefficient payments “benefit elite clubs”, as well as widening “financial disparities” between and within leagues.
Yet there is also a claim that the possibility of a European Super League (ESL) would become more realistic if the model were changed, as big clubs would be more unhappy with lower revenue.
Speaking on the matter in June, Cliff Baty, Manchester United’s chief financial officer, warned that any changes would have an impact on the club’s sustainability. He said: “While I appreciate the feeling of wanting to give more money [to smaller clubs] the cake gets bigger. The reason broadcasters pay so much money is for the product, frankly at Champions League level.
“If you change the cast and want more money, I think you have to be careful what you’re doing there. We all know where value is created, let’s face it.
“From our point of view, it is [the split] gives us a degree of certainty that helps in terms of sustainability, and all the discussions that are going on around financial sustainability and financial fair play in football. If you start changing that and making it harder for the bigger clubs to perform, it’s difficult.