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Stewart Regan backs plan for new cross-border league set-up

Date: 27th October 2016

The chief executive of the Scottish Football Association has said he believes Scottish clubs should play in a cross-border league, saying the situation “has to change.”

Stewart Regan, who serves on a UEFA working party exploring the possibilities of a cross-border competition, said he believed the move would have both footballing and financial benefits.

“There is a recognition that we have to change,” Regan said. “We are in danger at the moment of keeping perpetuating the Champions League brand as the answer to everything.

“It has been a fantastic success, but there are signs now emerging that it is peaking. I think people will get bored with Champions League predictability, particularly in markets where your own country isn’t represented for long spells in the season.”

Earlier this month, FC Copenhagen CEO Anders Horsholt confirmed that talks over an international league involving the biggest clubs in Scandinavia, Scotland, the Netherlands and Belgium were taking place.

The idea of an “Atlantic League” — which would involve clubs such as Ajax, Celtic and Rangers — was first suggested in the late 1990s and has been revisited periodically.

Regan said Scottish clubs dropping out of Europe before Christmas could be part of a cross-border league in which they played teams from other countries in the same situation.

A Champions League place could be on offer for the winners, with the format involving groups of teams from six countries.

Regan said a cross-border competition would “keep the dream alive” in Europe and added: “You need to play at the highest level you possibly can. That’s why cross-border gives us a chance to play against better teams for longer.

“If we are out of Europe by Christmas, that’s half a season. If Scottish clubs have a chance to play against big clubs from other nations, then they are going to perform better in the longer term.”


We are interested to hear supporters views on a cross-borders competition. Please get in touch with us if you have any views to offer. 

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