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Thread: Swift Hesperange v UEFA - LoI implications?

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    Swift Hesperange v UEFA - LoI implications?

    An interesting article in The 42 today about an ECJ case taken by a Luxembourg club, Swift Hesperange, against UEFA, arguing the requirement for leagues to be organised based on national territories is anti-competitive, as it denies clubs in smaller countries the potential to participate in "elite" competitions through cross-national tournaments. It's hard to imagine the argument will find legal support - do the people of say, Montenegro, have the "right" to access Champions League football - but the implications of success would be profound. Would this see the All-Ireland League proposal disinterred, and if so, would that extend to First Division clubs? Inspired by the Pro16, would Cymru Premier clubs seek the creation of a Celtic League to jump on regional bandwagons? And more seriously, would such a ruling risk the creation of a monetary divide within the Irish game?

    https://www.the42.ie/swift-hesperang...53906-Sep2022/

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    Quote Originally Posted by culloty82 View Post
    An interesting article in The 42 today about an ECJ case taken by a Luxembourg club, Swift Hesperange, against UEFA, arguing the requirement for leagues to be organised based on national territories is anti-competitive, as it denies clubs in smaller countries the potential to participate in "elite" competitions through cross-national tournaments. It's hard to imagine the argument will find legal support - do the people of say, Montenegro, have the "right" to access Champions League football - but the implications of success would be profound. Would this see the All-Ireland League proposal disinterred, and if so, would that extend to First Division clubs? Inspired by the Pro16, would Cymru Premier clubs seek the creation of a Celtic League to jump on regional bandwagons? And more seriously, would such a ruling risk the creation of a monetary divide within the Irish game?

    https://www.the42.ie/swift-hesperang...53906-Sep2022/
    This all came up in the 1990s in the English High Court over whether Welsh clubs could play in Wales whilst being part of the English pyramid system. The Welsh FA had stopped them when it wanted to set up its own league (to protect its international status), and a group of the 'exiled' Welsh clubs (who had to play in English grounds like Hereford whilst banned from Wales) took them to court, led by Newport County - who's fans are still bitter as feck about it all The clubs won their case under Euroopean law, so could continue playing in the English system from Wales. So that set a legal precedent that it was anti-competitive to stop a club from one footballing jurisdiction plying its trade in another. Even with Brexit I would expect that case to be referenced in this latest legal tussle, which sounds vaguely similar. Will be very interesting to see how this one works out.

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    Seasoned Pro EalingGreen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens View Post
    This all came up in the 1990s in the English High Court over whether Welsh clubs could play in Wales whilst being part of the English pyramid system. The Welsh FA had stopped them when it wanted to set up its own league (to protect its international status), and a group of the 'exiled' Welsh clubs (who had to play in English grounds like Hereford whilst banned from Wales) took them to court, led by Newport County - who's fans are still bitter as feck about it all The clubs won their case under Euroopean law, so could continue playing in the English system from Wales. So that set a legal precedent that it was anti-competitive to stop a club from one footballing jurisdiction plying its trade in another. Even with Brexit I would expect that case to be referenced in this latest legal tussle, which sounds vaguely similar. Will be very interesting to see how this one works out.
    Not necessarily a precedent.

    Swift Hesperange are arguing to be permitted a new right (to play in a different league), whereas the "exiled" Welsh teams were contesting the FAW's attempt to take away a right which had already been established (long time membership of the English league system).

    I think I'm right in saying that no Welsh club which had never previously been in the English system could now apply to join the English system from afresh.

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    Seasoned Pro EalingGreen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EalingGreen View Post
    I think I'm right in saying that no Welsh club which had never previously been in the English system could now apply to join the English system from afresh.
    Sorry for quoting my own post, but Llanymynech FC, a Weslh club (obv) who were playing in the Mongomeryshire League in Wales, applied this summer to be permitted to play in the Salop Leisure Football League in England:
    https://www.dailypost.co.uk/sport/fo...ldest-24066725

    And they seem to have been successful:
    https://fulltime.thefa.com/index.htm...dCompetition=0

    However, since their ground is actually over the border in England, maybe that prevents it from settinjg a precedent for other trans-national clubs (see also TNS)?

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    International Prospect sbgawa's Avatar
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    If they won their case its hard to see how the super league doesn't come back on the agenda somehow

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    Swift Hesperange should have an avenue to join another domestic league. If two countries wanted to have a combined league, that should be permitted too. A combined league however should only be granted the status of one single domestic league.
    The Europa League was partly to appease clubs seeking a North Atlantic League or something like that. The Conference League is a great addition also.
    The Setanta Cup was allowed. Clubs and/or leagues could agree a competition but it is fair that UEFA would not grant it a domestic league licence.
    The Setanta Cup wasn't able to come to an arrangement that offered the winner a European spot. If more than one league were to have a joint competition similar to the Setanta Cup, offering the winner a European spot is something they should be permitted to offer but from the allocation of those domestic leagues.
    A Championship: 4 years - 8 first teams - 0 financially ruined. First Division '14: 7 first teams.
    Opportunity seems lost somewhere in between for new clubs/regions to become part of LoI family.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sbgawa View Post
    If they won their case its hard to see how the super league doesn't come back on the agenda somehow
    That's already at ECJ, with opinion expected soon enough.

    https://www.sportspromedia.com/news/...rid-fifa-uefa/

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    Quote Originally Posted by legendz View Post
    Swift Hesperange should have an avenue to join another domestic league. If two countries wanted to have a combined league, that should be permitted too. A combined league however should only be granted the status of one single domestic league.
    The Europa League was partly to appease clubs seeking a North Atlantic League or something like that. The Conference League is a great addition also.
    The Setanta Cup was allowed. Clubs and/or leagues could agree a competition but it is fair that UEFA would not grant it a domestic league licence.
    The Setanta Cup wasn't able to come to an arrangement that offered the winner a European spot. If more than one league were to have a joint competition similar to the Setanta Cup, offering the winner a European spot is something they should be permitted to offer but from the allocation of those domestic leagues.
    Worth noting that the club in question has never come close yet to even winning the Luxembourg league in its history, but has attracted corporate investment lately, so would appear to be somewhat of a stalking horse for, as suggested, the Super League. There was a previous Benelux league in women's football, which got UEFA approval on the ranking basis of a single league, but ultimately it collapsed:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BeNe_League

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    I'd love to see a few wacky cross border competitions. A Celtic-Nordic cup sounds like great craic. Good away trips and a chance for players to get used to european matches. I can't see many FAs/Leagues taking a risk on it though
    oh boy I'm not good at football forums

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    I think the investor who took Dudelange to the EL groups jumped ship and took over Hesperange instead. So he's probably ambitious.

    I guess what he's ultimately describing is a case where they can win the Luxembourg league and get promoted. I can kind of understand that in a small league like Luxembourg, but surely you'd lose a lot if local leagues fragmented like that?

    Would Rovers want to get promoted from the LoI to a European Division 3 north-east against Dundee, Forest Green, Wrexham, Kristiansund and the likes? What would it mean for those left in European Division 4 (Ireland)?

    It'd be a complete game changer for lots of clubs. I think the national league bit generates extra interest and money. But ultimately a Superleague is going to keep cropping up until it happens I guess

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    If Rovers were offered a place in some kind of nordic league id have no interest.
    The conference league gives all Irish teams a shot at a European run and thats enough for me.
    That being said if it was a case of If Rovers didnt take it the next Irish team gets it it might make it harder for the club to say no.
    Would be crap though whats the point in competing a tier above where we are, we arent ever going to be Real MAdrid so stay local and enjoy old rivalries

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    "UEFA's original idea involved awarding two Champions League group stage places to the two best performing clubs over the past five seasons.
    However, the plans have been rejigged to the two best-performing countries getting an extra place each."
    The awarding of the two extra CL spots showed very little support for the historic performance. A World Cup every two years was shot down as well. It's difficult for a Super League to gain traction in this environment. Even 10 CL group stage matches was cut back to an agreement of 8.
    Going from 8 groups of 4 to one group of 36 is a big change. I'll be curious to hear the proposed changes for the next 3 year cycle.

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    The Swiss Model format that UEFA are moving to, is that for the CL only or all 3 of their competitions?

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Only for CL so far as I'm aware.

    One of the issues is a lack of competition in the groups, leading to dead matches, so this is an attempt to overcome that. Not an issue in the other competitions though.

    Of course, in pandering to the big teams and making them richer still, they're only going to increase uncompetitiveness, but they don't seem to mind that so long as they can get more money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    Only for CL so far as I'm aware.

    One of the issues is a lack of competition in the groups, leading to dead matches, so this is an attempt to overcome that. Not an issue in the other competitions though.

    Of course, in pandering to the big teams and making them richer still, they're only going to increase uncompetitiveness, but they don't seem to mind that so long as they can get more money.
    Apart from the moral issue of increasing uncompetitiveness it probably doesn't bother me to much.
    Greater reason for some second tier leagues Holland /Belgium/Poland to worry about , we will always be chasing scraps from the rich mans table

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    Quote Originally Posted by sbgawa View Post
    If they won their case its hard to see how the super league doesn't come back on the agenda somehow
    Isn't there a separate court case on that anyway, by the 3 clubs still pushing it (Reak, Barca & Juve) ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by A N Mouse View Post
    That's already at ECJ, with opinion expected soon enough.

    https://www.sportspromedia.com/news/...rid-fifa-uefa/
    December 20th from memory ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GUFCghost View Post
    I'd love to see a few wacky cross border competitions. A Celtic-Nordic cup sounds like great craic. Good away trips and a chance for players to get used to european matches. I can't see many FAs/Leagues taking a risk on it though
    It's hard to see many cross-border leagues really working though. Ireland is a very obvious one, as is BeNeLux and Czech/Slovakia. A British league combining England, Scotland & Wales too. But beyond those, where else ? A Scandinavian league sounds good on paper, but would involve countries with small populations and large distances. Would Swedish fans get excited about facing Danish or Norwegian teams ? I genunely don't know. Plus - would it be viable ? Sweden, Denmark & Norway have a combined population of approx 20m, spread across a vast area. The Netherlands has a very compact and heavily urbanised population of over 17m, and still thinks it is too small to work competitvely on the European stage as a football league.

    Potentially some Eastern European leagues could merge, but I'm not sure if they'd be all that successful either. The Baltics would be an obvious example, but the 3 countries combined have about the same population as Denmark on its own. Plus - Poland probably has the population (almost 40m - if it can hold onto them) to over time become a relatively big European league itself as it continues to become wealthier.

    Another problem in Europe is that a number of promising small leagues are usually stuck beside/surrounded by bigger ones e.g. Portugal/Spain, Switzerland/Germany/Italy. So are limited on who they could join with. Though a combined Greek-Turkish league would be a lot of fun !

    I just can't see a Celtic-Nordic type league working. I don't think the interest would be there amongst the public (never mind the populations and distances involved). Would I be all that arsed about having to get a flight to a game every fortnight to stay in very expensive places and play teams that there is zero rivalry or affinity with ? It would be fun to do the trips once but no more. It's just not realistic or practical IMO. They wouldn't care about playing Irish/Welsh/Scottish teams either.
    Last edited by EatYerGreens; 05/09/2022 at 1:57 PM.

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    Probably the only ones that would possibly work in an All-Ireland league, Benelux and the restablishment of a Yugoslavian league. But even with that, there really seems to be no real hunger for these (especially for the amount of work it would need), and a lot of push comes from people who might just enjoy the novelty aspect.

    To be honest, I have no clue what the court case in really talking about. I always thought UEFA would not care for teams to move across borders (look at Derry), or leagues joining together (I think it was even suggested by UEFA). It just seems no-one would be intrested in doing so. Why would I want to be in Celtic league... I have zero care for Scottish and Welsh football. It might as well be Georgia and Iceland.

    I have to agree with someone else here... It seems like a 'trojan horse' case for the European Super League (which would just kill football).

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    Quote Originally Posted by ger121 View Post
    The Swiss Model format that UEFA are moving to, is that for the CL only or all 3 of their competitions?
    All 3 of their competitions. The CL and EL will both be a 36 team group, 8 games. The ECL will be a 36 team group, 6 games.
    A Championship: 4 years - 8 first teams - 0 financially ruined. First Division '14: 7 first teams.
    Opportunity seems lost somewhere in between for new clubs/regions to become part of LoI family.

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