FIFA president Gianni Infantino has revealed that he has no opposition for teams to enter cross-border leagues in the near future.

Original talks took place many years ago, between Glasgow Rangers, Celtic and others, regarding the possibility of forming an Atlantic League.

UEFA reacted by changing the structure of European competitions. It was done to appease unrest from those clubs, seeking greater financial returns.

The Champions League was rebranded in 1992 to allow Germany, England, Spain, Italy and France, to be given four places instead of the usual one.

This was an immediate hit with the elite clubs and their participating fans. It has become the best grossing football club competition in the world.

The only problem with the current structure is that the gulf is widening between the top four and other sides, in those five leagues.

Before the upgraded version of the former European Cup, only the winners of each country gained entry into Europe’s top competition.

To stave off dissenters, season 2009-10 saw a change of policy in the UEFA Cup, in an effort to appease the mid-table sides of various leagues.

By awarding 64 teams the opportunity of reaching the last 32, it became a worthwhile tournament for teams to be involved in – the Europa League.

The current format has increased teams in the competition, and the top two from eight group stages, and 16 drop downs from the Champions League, to form the last 32.

Another drawcard is the fact that the Europa League winners go into the draw for the following campaign’s Champions League.

The Old Firm of Celtic and Rangers are both in the last 32 for the first time together, and both sides are hopeful of beating FC Copenhagen and Braga to reach the last 16.

This is definitely suiting Rangers and Celtic this season, but if any of them failed to progress past the qualifying rounds, they would suffer financially.

Celtic, and to a lesser extent Rangers, are adamant that they should be accepted into the lucrative English Premier League, but have always been met with fierce resistance.

Sky and BT Sports would benefit from having the whole of Scotland more willing to buy the various packages on offer.

Now that Infantino is open to amalgamating different leagues into a more interesting and competitive league, the Old Firm may have a better chance.

Previously, FIFA were completely against the idea, in case some super clubs attempted to steal some of the power. 

UEFA will propose radical changes to be made in the Champions League and Europa League from summer 2021. Let’s see what they will be.


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