A new third tier European club competition looks to be on the horizon, with UEFA recently providing its initial approval for the new tournament, filling the gap left by the dissolution of Europe’s previous third tier continental tournament, the Cup Winners’ Cup, back in 1999.
Under the current proposal an additional 16 teams will have the opportunity to participate in UEFA club football, with the Europa League being reduced from 48 to 32 teams and the new tournament likewise featuring 32 teams. UEFA are also currently proposing that the new tournament be broadcast and sold online, a change that will no doubt concern television broadcasters given the current trend for greater online media consumption and the increasing competition from online companies in sports broadcasting.
For Clubs currently on the cusp of European football, a new tournament could provide not only the chance for European silverware, but potential commercial and brand building opportunities. Similarly for players and their representatives there may be possibilities to create additional value within players’ future playing and commercial arrangements. The following sets out some initial thoughts on the potential opportunities and issues a new tournament may bring: