The most important official in European football talks to the Guardian about the coronavirus fallout, how clubs could face a “luxury tax” and why he believes footballers are not greedy. Below is an edited transcript.
How would you describe the current situation and your feelings about it?There’s a lot of work still to be done. I was in Switzerland last week for the first time in two months and had meetings from 9am to 11pm. There is so much information [to take in] and so many calendar issues – and so many millions and millions, dozens of millions of dollars, that we will lose. It is then hard to fall asleep at night. You would be quite irresponsible if you could fall asleep immediately after a day like that. The situation for Uefa is not that alarming, we’re not in a dangerous situation, but we still care about the clubs and the leagues and the stakeholders so it is a lot of work.
How and when did you decide to postpone Euro 2020? In these kinds of situations do you wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it? It’s even worse, I couldn’t even fall asleep until 4am. At that time [in the morning] I made the decision [about Euro 2020] and then fell asleep for a couple of hours.
Would you bet a million dollars that Euro 2020 will be played in 2021? Yes, I would … I don’t know why it wouldn’t be. I don’t think that this virus will last for ever. I think it will [change] sooner than many think. Continue reading…