Since the failed attempt to launch the Super League, Nasser Al-Khelaïfi has gained weight on the European scene by taking over the presidency of the ECA. If he saved the model of European football according to some, not all club presidents see him as a vigilante, reports 20minutes.
Football is a business that is sometimes more akin to politics than to sport, and in this game, the president of PSG Nasser Al-Khelaïfi seems to know how to get out of the game. Having become president of the ECA, the European Club Association, in April 2021 following the failed attempt to launch the Super League, the Qatari seem to be on all fronts of European football since. Perceived by some as the symbol of the saviors of popular football in Europe thanks to his opposition to what was to be the new flagship competition of the old continent, 20minutes reports that not everyone sees him as a vigilante.
“He knows where he wants to go as president”
Indeed, the president of the ECA divides in his European functions. On the one hand, FC Copenhagen football president Daniel Rommedahl told 20minutes that Nasser Al-Khelaïfi “gives his opinion easily, without using too many words or making detours to explain what he likes or dislikes, he knows where he wants to go as president. » According to the Danish leader, his presidency has made it possible to calm the atmosphere within the ECA by allowing more frank dialogue and more respect for the smaller clubs. Similarly, the CEO of Young Boys Bern Wanja Greuel believes that he has a “way of working and a whole transparent process. »
Critics who suspect him of swapping the FPF for the Superleague
However, the detractors of the president of PSG also exist. 20minutes reports that some view him as an opportunist, for now hiding behind his image as the savior of European football – as it is known under the yoke of UEFA – against the Super League, but whose real interests will erupt sooner or later. late. An anonymous source says of the role the ECA President played in the negotiations of the future FPF: Nasser made a barter, he exchanged the extremely significant circumvention of financial fair play, which had bothered him a lot since he recruited Neymar and Mbappé against his firm opposition to the Super League project. »
Some even go further and think that one day or another, Nasser Al-Khelaïfi and PSG will join the Super League of Florentino Pérez and Andrea Agnelli, despite all the recent interviews where the president of the ECA has meant all his contempt for this project. The CEO of Young Boys, Wanja Greuel, believes that “It’s completely normal for Nasser to bring the interests of PSG into the discussion […] But deep down, I’m 100% sure he’s involved against the Super League. » Thus, if some make their dissatisfaction known in anonymity, Daniel Rommedahl, he feels “safe from the Super League. »
The football president of FC Copenhagen even adds: “The position taken by PSG and Bayern at the time was very important and had an impact on the future. There’s this feeling that they’re working on a model that’s better than Super League. » The reform of the Champions League nevertheless takes up some ideas from the dead project of a new European elitist competition.
With the forthcoming commercialization of the rights to European competitions for the 2024/2027 period, Rommedahl, despite the positive portrait he paints of Nasser, “hope [que les plus petits clubs] will be present in the discussions to talk about redistribution when the time comes. » In order to convince the last reluctant?