Liverpool have played a leading role in pushing for a Champions League revamp which is all but finalised – yet they still “want more money.”
That is according to finance guru and Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively after the European Club Association stated on Tuesday that they were “not yet in a position to formally endorse key changes” to the Champions League.
The expansion of Uefa’s flagship competition into a 36-team tournament was due to be confirmed on Wednesday but a decision is now expected in April.
However, Maguire explains that the format itself is not behind the delay but rather issues surrounding the rights and controversial coefficient aspect of the deal.
He claims that big players in the ECA such as Liverpool believe they can squeeze yet more money out of the reformed competition.
He told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams: “The big clubs think that they can negotiate higher prices with broadcasters. So it’s the clubs versus the leagues.
“The format, the 36-team arrangement, is done and dusted. What they’re arguing over is how are we going to allocate the four additional teams.
“The leagues want it done on the basis of winning football matches. But the owners want more certainty in terms of their team appearing in this competition.
“What John Henry wants is for a club that finishes 7th in its domestic league and 24th in the group stages of the Champions League to still be able to go on and win the competition outright.
“The people making these decisions are not football traditionalists. They see football purely as a business and entertainment vehicle and they want an increased market share, just as Apple wants more market share than Google.
“Liverpool want more money than other clubs because they’re viewing it purely in a business context.”
Liverpool are in real danger of failing to qualify for the Champions League via the traditional route this season.
Jurgen Klopp’s side currently sit in 7th place in the league table, five points outside the top-four with nine games left to play.