7.04.2021Bayer 04

News in brief: Sinkgraven trains – Carro on UCL reform

The Werkself train at the Ulrich Haberland Stadium, and Fernando Carro talks about the reform of the Champions League, equality of opportunity plus the 'Swiss model'– Wednesday's news in brief.

Conditions proved unfriendly as winter made a return. Leverkusen was in the grip of heavy snowfall, icy winds and temperatures around freezing on Wednesday. At the stroke of 10.30 CEST, Hannes Wolf welcomed the Werkself players to an intensive session at the Ulrich Haberland Stadium. The training session included an 11-a-side game as there are more than seven days between the 2-1 home win against Schalke 04 and the away game at TSG Hoffenheim on Monday night, 12 April (kick-off: 20.30 CEST).



The practice match was played over 4×8 minutes. Daley Sinkgraven took part again as did Charles Aránguiz. While the Werkself captain trained on his own the day before, left-back Sinkgraven returned to full training at the start of the week after recovering from a muscular injury. That means the only absentees were long-term injured players Santiago Arias, Julian Baumgartlinger, Lars Bender and Timothy Fosu-Mensah.

Carro: "Performance has to be rewarded"

Fernando Carro, chairman of the board at Bayer 04, recently talked about the forthcoming reform of the UEFA Champions League. In an interview with SportBild, the 56-year-old highlighted the risk of an increasingly bigger imbalance in football saying, "it is an absolute possibility. If in the end, the Champions League gets even more and the Europa League even less then the discrepancy is even bigger. Performance has to be rewarded, that's clear. But we definitely have to ensure that a certain level of equality of opportunity remains."



The German top-flight in football could serve as an example for future financial distribution. Carro added: "If money were to be fairly distributed in Europe in future as we have done it in the Bundesliga then the gap would not be as big."

"Swiss model"

Agreement regarding the new form of the Champions League is currently in its final stages. An increase from 32 to 36 teams is planned from 2024. There is also talk of an increased number of group matches. This should be replaced by the so-called 'Swiss model'. With this league-based structure there should be a common table as well as a group stage. According to Carro, the Bundesliga sees this format as a "good compromise."

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