European football bosses have admitted they are “exploring different ideas” as talks continue behind the scenes over staging a revamped UEFA Super Cup in the United States.
The PA news agency understands substantive discussions have taken place over a four-team Super Cup to be played as the season-opening event in the United States from 2024, potentially featuring the champions of the Major League Soccer alongside the winners of UEFA’s three men’s club competitions.
Nasser Al Khelaifi, who in addition to being president of the European Club Association and president of Paris St Germain is a member of the UEFA executive committee, was asked if the organization of matches of the UEFA outside Europe was beyond possibility at the ECA General Assembly in Istanbul on Friday.
He said: “We didn’t discuss America, in particular, we didn’t agree on anything basically.
“What we try to do is help grow and develop our competitions. We have the right to think about it, to explore different ideas and to see what makes sense or not, but for today, I cannot confirm anything.
“But why not seek all the opportunities we have to develop our clubs and our competitions?”
UEFA and ECA see the United States as a major growth market. They have secured a 150% increase in the value of their US English broadcast rights under their new commercial joint venture, compared to the current round.
This rights deal was brokered by Relevent, a company that has previously unsuccessfully attempted to host regular-season LaLiga games in the United States.
Ajax chief executive Edwin Van Der Sar, another ECA board member, also did not rule out the possibility of UEFA matches taking place abroad. ‘coming.
The former Manchester United goalkeeper said: “You claim it’s completely new or something like games are played overseas.
“The Italian Super Cup and some cup finals are also played in different countries from the home country itself. National associations and domestic leagues are already playing abroad in some finals.
“I don’t know how far the idea of UEFA or ECA (has gone), but of course it’s nothing new that some games are played abroad.”
Sources have told PA that all options to attract families and female fans to a new Super Cup will be considered, whether that means placing the matches at a weekend festival or having pop artists play. before games or at half-time.
They point out that other sports have succeeded in conquering new markets, such as the NFL which plays regular season games in London.
Formula 1 Chief Executive Stefano Domenicali attended the General Assembly, with ECA keen to hear from other sports and businesses how they have generated new revenue streams.
As well as selling broadcast rights, F1 is also selling countries the right to host its events, which the UEFA-ECA joint venture could consider with the Super Cup.
Al Khelaifi paid tribute to Domenicali in his address to the Assembly saying, “I remember the first time we met, I was inspired by your vision, your ideas and your project.
“You have made Formula 1 more than a sport. You have created a lifestyle and a brand. Entertainment is at the heart of everything you do. Formula 1 has an incredible leader. will be inspired by what you tell us later today.”
He added that the ECA’s relationship with F1 was proof that the ECA was “open-minded and pushing ideas forward”.
He added: “We always have to be creative and think outside the box; to stand still is to retreat.