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“Too many”- UEFA honcho replies to Liverpool complaints about fixture congestion

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Aleksander Ceferin slams Liverpool for complaining about congested schedule 

Responding to recent claims in an interview, as quoted by The Telegraph (Subscription Required), UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has stated that he won’t be bothered by criticism of his proposed changes to the Champions League or the endless schedule of games that top teams, including Liverpool, must play.

Leading coaches like Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have complained about the congestion of domestic and international fixtures, but UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has responded by defending his organization’s logistical decisions.

In light of UEFA’s plans to move through with a significant reorganization of the Champions League, both the manager of Manchester City and the manager of Liverpool have voiced their complaints about the overabundance of fixtures that top European teams must play.

When discussing the Nations League summer competition, which adds several more games to the players’ already jam-packed schedule, Jürgen Klopp didn’t hold back in an earlier interview.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp complained about the Nation League in an earlier interview.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp complained about the Nation League in an earlier interview.

President Aleksander Ceferin simply went and said the quiet thing out loud in response to the criticism stating that teams shouldn’t complain as they are getting huge amounts of money already.

“It’s easy always to attack Fifa and Uefa, but the thing is simple. If you play less, you get less money. Who should complain are the factory workers who get €1,000 (£861) per month.”

“Domestic leagues should have 18 clubs, but the presidents do not agree. They should understand that two domestic cups are too many.”

Ceferin’s blunt admission that it’s all about the money and that the players’ well-being is secondary is almost refreshing in its honesty.

Do you think Aleksander Ceferin's perspective is the right way to approach football tournaments?
Do you think Aleksander Ceferin’s perspective is the right way to approach football tournaments?

Fans are aware that most choices the major football organizations make are motivated by avarice and the desire to sell more tickets. Not the emotion, but the mere fact that he said it at all, is what is surprising.

Jurgen Klopp has every right to be frustrated as manager of Liverpool. Throughout their run of three finals, his squad played the maximum number of games permitted. Anybody would be infuriated if extra pointless international games were added for the European players.

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European competition is becoming too intense; if there are too many games, tiredness will set in and performance will suffer. Ceferin’s comments suggest that UEFA is more concerned with generating revenue from additional games than they are about stress and health concerns for players.

His dig at domestic competitions is also odd. These tournaments have had a set format for a while. If they added extra games, then it would have been a problem- instead, we have only seen the concept of replay games become redundant over the past years.