FAI: Uefa discussions on third European football competition ‘interesting’

Fran Gavin says proposal could offer extended competition for sides knocked out in preliminary rounds

FAI competitions director Fran Gavin has described as "interesting" a proposal discussed at a Uefa meeting in Malta on Wednesday for a third European football competition, aimed at offering extending international competition to teams who are normally knocked out of the Champions and Europa Leagues in the preliminary rounds.

The idea is at an extremely early stage with debate continuing over whether the clubs involved would enter the new competition instead of one of the existing ones, or simply drop into it when they have been eliminated from the others. If adopted then the event itself will not come into being until at least 2018 when the current TV rights deal for the main competitions expire.

Gavin, though, sees the prospect of Irish clubs getting to play European football of some sort further into the season and possibility generating significant revenues as having “potential”.

"I don't think the clubs would want to give up on the Champions League or Europa League, " he said. "They are the real goal at the moment but for a lot of clubs it would depend on the financial structure. The teams are looking to European games to generate money so the financial structure would be a big factor in how they might react to it."

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone is Work Correspondent at The Irish Times