International

Napoli boss wants to spice up 'boring' European football

2019-05-06 15:47
Aurelio De Laurentiis
Aurelio De Laurentiis (Getty Images)

Milan - Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis on Monday called for the Champions League and Europa League to be abolished and replaced with a new 80-team competition in order to revive "boring" European football.

Napoli sealed second place in Serie A for the second consecutive season on Sunday, after a last-gasp 2-1 win over Cagliari.

But film-producer De Laurentiis, who bankrolls Napoli, believes UEFA's two European club competitions are outdated, proposing a new format that would see 80 teams compete in a single competition.

"The Champions League and the Europa League should be abolished," De Laurentiis told Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

"The Champions League is now for a select few, while the Europa League has become a sort of consolation prize. It's all very outdated.

"Our football is becoming boring. We are often confronted with the same sparring partners."

De Laurentiis proposes a single tournament with "the top seven teams from the Italian, French, English, German and Spanish leagues and the first four of the Portuguese, Dutch, Belgian, Swedish and all the other leagues".

The teams would be divided into four groups of 20 teams, with a draw to decide the calendar and who plays at home.

"I would call it the European Cup and the games would be played on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, thus respecting the placement of the national championships over the weekend," the 69-year-old said

The Napoli boss opposes plans by the European Club Association (ECA) and its president Andrea Agnelli, who is also the boss of Serie A rivals Juventus, to play the group stage with four groups of eight teams.

This new Champions League would be closer to a closed league, the first six of each pool being directly qualified for the next edition, regardless of their championship standings.

"Agnelli is an intelligent man, I cannot believe he has a tournament like this in mind that would be harmful for the rest of European football," said De Laurentiis.

"It's a formula that could work initially but in the end would drive away a good portion of the public and fans from the world of football."

Juventus once again dominated the Italian league this season, winning an eighth consecutive Serie A title with weeks to spare.

But the Napoli president backed former Real Madrid, AC Milan and Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti, who took over as coach this season, despite his failure to even challenge for a first Serie A title since 1990.

"I am satisfied with the work of Ancelotti," he said.

"With (Cristiano) Ronaldo, Juventus has raised the points bar, but we are competing with one of the best European teams."

Read more on:    napoli  |  soccer

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Breaking News

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

Who will emerge victorious in this season's Champions League?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.