The ex-Germany defender lambasted UEFA, claiming that it is just as much motivated by greed as those involved in the Super League
Former Bayern Munich and Liverpool defender Markus Babbel has said that UEFA must be “laughing its head off”, stating that Europe’s governing body is just as interested in making money as those involved in the failed Super League plans.
Sunday’s announcement of a 20-team, ring-fenced tournament was met with global consternation and anger, with fans and pundits alike of the opinion that a self-appointed elite group of teams had acted out of sheer greed and were sucking the soul out of the game.
Plans to form a breakaway league have since dissolved, however, and Babbel took aim at what he perceives to be UEFA’s hypocrisy after European football’s governing body had lambasted those responsible for pushing ahead with plans to form a Super League.
What did Babbel say?
“UEFA is laughing its head off!” Babbel told Goal and SPOX. “The 2024 Champions League is also sh*t to the power of 10. Nobody can take that seriously either because it’s all about more games and more money.
“From my point of view, the reforms are a disaster, but at least the teams still have a chance to qualify based on sporting merit.”
What Champions League reforms have been made?
The biggest change to the Champions League is the transformation from the traditional group stage to a single league including all participating teams, which will rise from 32 to 36.
The top eight teams in the league will then qualify for the knockout stage, while those finishing from ninth to 24th will compete in two-legged play-offs to secure a path into the round of 16.
Babbel’s views on Liverpool
Babbel spent seven years of his playing career at Bayern Munich and was pleased to see that one of his old clubs hadn’t buckled to pressure, but he admits that he was left furious by those in charge of another of his former sides.
“I was very disappointed because I never would have thought it possible that a club like Liverpool would do something like that,” he said of Fenway Sports Group’s decision to take part in the breakaway project.
“But when I found out that neither Jurgen Klopp nor the players had been informed about the plans, I knew: ‘Okay, there were a couple of guys who had nothing to do with the history of the club making the decisions’.
“The fact that those primarily responsible for the sporting sector did not know anything about it finally calmed me down a bit. It was clear that only the business people who only think about money and are ready to tell the soul of the club had made the decision.”