Ilkay Gundogan is happy that the proposed European Super League will (presumably) not be formed, but the Manchester City midfielder also has plenty of concerns about the new UEFA Champions League format, which will instead be put into place for the 2024-25 season.
Gundogan took to Twitter on Thursday — not long after the new Champions League format was approved by UEFA, not long after a dozen of Europe’s biggest clubs abandoned their scheme to break away and form their own semi-closed continental competition — and called the new 36-team so-called Swiss model “just the lesser of the two evils.”
“With all the Super League stuff going on,” he went on to say. “Can we please also speak about the new Champions League format? More and more and more games. Is no one thinking about us players? The new Champions League format is just the lesser of the two evils in comparison to the Super League”
Not only did Gundogan criticize the new format, but he offered a solution which he feels would satisfy everyone without financial motivation for expanding the Champions League: just leave it as it is.
The UCL format right now works great and that is why it's the most popular club competition in the world – for us players and for the fans.
— Ilkay Gündogan (@IlkayGuendogan) April 22, 2021
Unfortunately for the players — and for the fans — the new Champions League format has already been approved and is unlikely to change between now and the fall of 2024, when it goes into effect.
Sure, the new Champions League format won’t add as many games to the schedule as the Super League would have done, and it keeps entry into the competition viable for clubs the continent over, but the number of midweek games that players will be forced to play is greater where it stands right now, and that’s beneficial only to the uber-rich owners to whom the majority of money in football already flows.