Atletico CEO: Why should clubs take the risk for more internationals?
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League Focus
Atletico CEO: Why should clubs take the risk for more internationals?
by Jonathan Rest

Miguel Angel Gil Marin, the CEO of Atletico Madrid, fears the ongoing row between FIFA and domestic leagues over the international match calendar is doing "irreversible damage" to the game.

This dispute between FIFA and the leagues is doing great damage, perhaps irreversible, to those of us in the middle. Creating new competitions to play more games to generate more money is the intention. Clubs invest in players and their salaries, we take great risks, and for what?
Miguel Angel Gil Marin
CEO, Atletico Madrid

Gil, who this month was elected to the European Club Association executive board, said the power struggle could even lead clubs to seek alternatives to the Super League, the controversial breakaway competition that his club were due to be part and which collapsed soon after its formation earlier this year.

 

Speaking at the World Football Summit, held at Atletico's Wanda Metropolitano stadium, this week, Gil said: “If the institutions continue in this same line, it will not take long for another system to appear to shake things up.”

 

Continental governing bodies, domestic leagues and FIFA have been in dispute over plans for a biennial World Cup and the release of players during international breaks.

 

FIFA's extension of September's international break meant some players returned to their clubs just hours before domestic fixtures were due to be played. Indeed, LaLiga postponed two fixtures from match day four and threatened legal action over the changes, which FIFA said was essential in order to complete qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

 

Gil Marin said: "This dispute between FIFA and the leagues is doing great damage, perhaps irreversible, to those of us in the middle. Creating new competitions to play more games to generate more money is the intention. Clubs invest in players and their salaries, we take great risks, and for what?

 

"Those of us caught in the middle suffer. It's like a family when mum and dad fight. In that situation, the only solution could be emancipation. It will happen in the end. It might not be the Super League, but it's unsustainable."

 

Gil Marin is in favour of the calendar being restructured, with all international matches being condensed into one period at the end of each season.

 

He continued: "I'd say [to national teams] for five to six weeks, the players are yours. Play domestic competitions for nine-and-a-half months, leave a-month-and-a-half for internationals, and a month for the players to rest... Who pays the salaries of the players when they're with their national teams? Every day, governing bodies want to organise more games to generate more money. But it's doing irreversible damage."

 
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