European leagues to discuss playing games on Champions League nights
European leagues will discuss the possibility of scheduling domestic matches on Champions League nights at a meeting this summer.
An agreement to keep UEFA club competition days clear of domestic action expired on March 15, and the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) group will now hold a general assembly in Geneva on June 6 to decide whether that arrangement should change in the future.
The EPFL stated again on Friday that it has "serious concerns" about UEFA's decision last year to guarantee four Champions League group-stage places each to England, Spain, Italy and Germany from 2018, which would mean half the 32 places in the lucrative group phase being filled by clubs from just four countries.
The EPFL's members are now considering a move which, if followed through, could affect attendances and television viewing figures for UEFA club competition matches and also the value of the rights to broadcast those matches as well as advertising and sponsorship revenue.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin was elected after the decision to protect the position of clubs from Europe's top leagues had been taken. He drew his support from smaller associations within the European confederation who felt they had become marginalised.
The EPFL said in a statement on Friday: "The leagues reiterated their serious concerns with respect to the reform of UEFA's club competitions for the cycle 2018-2021 and its detrimental impact on the competitive balance of domestic competitions and on the development of professional football as a whole.
"The EPFL's goal is to enhance and protect competitive balance in league competitions in the interest of all its member leagues and the vast majority of professional clubs and national associations in Europe.
"The Memorandum of Understanding between EPFL and UEFA formally expired on March 15, 2017. This will give all European leagues total freedom to schedule their matches as they see fit -- including on the same days and at the same kick-off times as UEFA club competitions.
"Due to these historical circumstances, the EPFL is now calling for the very first time an extraordinary General Assembly that shall take place in Geneva on Tuesday, June 6, 2017."
The EPFL said it will "keep negotiating" with UEFA on calendar matters in the lead-up to the meeting. UEFA did not wish to make any comment on the matter.