Richard Scudamore, the Premier League executive chairman, has met with UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin to discuss how to avoid clashes between domestic games and European club competitions.
Scheduling has become increasingly difficult for the top national leagues and Ceferin said earlier this month that he wanted to discuss it with Scudamore.
It came after Stoke’s rearranged visit to Manchester City in March was played simultaneously with two round-of-16 games in the Champions League. Until March there was a memorandum of understanding between the leagues, represented by the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL), and UEFA to avoid such clashes but it expired. Now EPFL’s members have threatened to schedule games in UEFA slots.
Last month Ceferin said that he doesn’t like the idea of games being scheduled at the same time and he thinks that it is important that UEFA reaches a deal with the European leagues.
However, the Premier League has said that it has a right to schedule games on the same dates as UEFA as it may be “occasionally unavoidable”. The League also said that UEFA has “exacerbated the fixture challenges English football faces” by taking more dates for its competitions’ knockout stages.
Despite this, there has still been no word on if an agreement was reached when the meeting took place this week.
Instead, UEFA announced that European trophies, at club and international level, will be presented to the winning captains on the pitch from this year. This means that the trophies at the Europa and Champions League finals will be awarded immediately. They said that purpose-built stages have been made that can be assembled in less than five minutes at the end of the games.
It added in a statement, “The return to on-pitch presentations will give all fans in the stadium a better view of the trophy lifts, while the television audience will also get clearer pictures.”