A new football competition spanning both North and South America that would emulate the European Champions League has been proposed. Except it would have twice the number of teams as its European equivalent. And vast sums of money are being talked about.
The new tournament would have 64 teams: 16 from Brazil, 16 from the US and Canada and 10 from Argentina. This leaves 22 spaces for teams from other countries. Every other country will get between one and three spaces, which definitely seems fair.
This proposal has gotten the support of the “Big Five” in Argentina, according to media-mogul and AFA presidential candidate Marcelo Tinelli, as well as big clubs in Brazil, Chile and Paraguay, the MLS (Major League Soccer — the US’s football league), the Caribbean leagues and CONCACAF (North American football governing body.) According to a poll on TyC Sports website, 73 percent of people think that this proposed “Americas Champions League” is a good idea.
The vast support is somewhat understandable when you consider the amount of money involved. There would be an estimated US$400 million to be shared around the 64 entrants. The winner would receive US$30 million and each participating club US$5 million. To put this in comparison with the Copa Libertadores winners: River Plate won roughly US$5.3 million.
North American TV money talks, clearly.
The competition would take place from February to November and could start in 2019. This would mean that clubs would run the risk of losing their best players halfway through the competition when the European summer transfer window is open (July and August).
The businessmen behind this proposal are the owners of the TV rights to friendlies for the Argentine national team, every match between Argentina and Brazil (el superclásico de las Américas) as well as the rights to the FIFA World Cup, top leagues in Europe and the four major tennis tournaments.
The future of the Copa Libertadores and the Copa Sudamericana remains unclear. However, the majority of bosses want to try and keep these going too, especially the Libertadores, although it doesn’t really look feasible when there will already be one huge continental tournament clogging up the football calendar.