Monday, 7 July 2008

UEFA Cup "set for name change"

European football’s governing body UEFA is considering changing the name of its second tier UEFA Cup competition to the UEFA Europa League.

Parma - Last Italian club to win in 1999The planned rebranding was revealed by Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the acting chairman of the new European Clubs Association (ECA), whose organisation was presented with the proposal today in Switzerland.

UEFA is considering the name change as it seeks to reverse a feeling it has become 'a second class competition'.

"The hope is that a refreshment of the name and brand can help achieve better results than we've seen in the UEFA Cup in the past," Rummenigge said.

"There has been a general impression that it has become a second-class competition and that we should get back to how it was ten or 15 years ago."

UEFA's Executive Committee is set to vote on the name change when it meets in Bordeaux in September.

Confirming the vote, a senior UEFA source added the new name was meant to better reflect the new group stage system being used in the competition from the 2009-10 season.

This new system is a direct copy of UEFA's more successful Champions League competition and will see the dropping of the unpopular five-team groups in which teams play each opponent just once either home or away in favour of a simpler home and away system.

From 2009 UEFA will also be marketing the competition centrally, in another lesson learned from the lucrative Champions League, and hopes that the new name will help distinguish it from the previous UEFA Cup format.

Source: Reuters

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