Uefa president Ceferin says body 'will not give in to blackmail' on Super League

Gareth Bale celebrates victory in the Champions League final
Gareth Bale helped Real Madrid win last season's Champions League crown

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin has warned Europe's biggest clubs that the body will never give in to "blackmail".

Discussions took place among some clubs last February about a breakaway Super League. Uefa responded by giving more Champions League slots to clubs from the bigger leagues, starting next term.

But Ceferin says he will not allow a "closed league" for the elite clubs.

"Quite simply, money does not rule and the football pyramid must be and will be respected," said the Slovenian.

"To some leagues, I will say: we will never give in to the blackmail of those who think they can manipulate small leagues.

"Why be afraid of dialogue? Why be afraid of telling them face to face how we could shape the future together, hand in hand, in the best interests of football?

"And why be afraid to tell them openly what we will never accept?"

Ceferin, who has promised to revamp the game over the next five years, said Uefa, European football's governing body, would discuss the long-term 'strategic vision' with clubs, leagues and players, adding that they "are not our enemies".

He has also promised one million euros (£854,992) to each of the 55 member associations as a "solidarity payment" from Uefa's revenue.

"This five-year plan will not be forced on you, it will not come out of the blue, as may have happened in the past," he said, in an address aimed at the clubs at a Uefa Congress in Helsinki.

"It will not be drafted by some anonymous bureaucrat and his paper-pushers hidden away on the shores of Lake Geneva.

"We will work together to rectify the imbalances as much as possible - problems and imbalances for which you are also responsible."

Meanwhile, Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney has been voted on to Uefa's executive committee for the first time, joining former Manchester United chief executive David Gill on the eight-man board.

Delaney received the second highest number of votes of the 11 candidates, and Gill came sixth.

Football Association of Wales vice-president Kieran O'Connor was unsuccessful, attracting the fewest number of votes.

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