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Aberdeen director backs UEFA's third competition plan

Rob Wicks says the proposal brings opportunities for Aberdeen and others.

Aberdeen director Rob Wicks has said that proposals for a third European club competition are welcome and that the plans could help the Pittodrie club grow on and off the pitch.

European Club Association chairman Andrea Agnelli, who is also a representative on UEFA's executive committee, revealed on Tuesday that "the green light" had been given to proposals to add another continental competition alongside the Champions League and Europa League.

While few details on the new tournament have emerged so far, Dons commercial director Wicks said that any increase in the opportunity to play against European opposition would be beneficial for his club.

"I think this is a great step forward in thinking from UEFA and the ECA," he told STV.

"It's been a long time coming. UEFA do talk about their formats being constantly under review but we've seen a long and extended period of pretty much the same formats.

"We have ambitions at Aberdeen to become a UEFA top 100 club and opportunities to play more widely in Europe will only come about if these sorts of changes can happen.

"Participating in the Europa League is certainly one thing but there are so many clubs that can relish the opportunity, particularly clubs like Aberdeen who have such a strong history and heritage in European football. The fans crave these sorts of opportunities.

"So we very much welcome the initiative and all that may come with it."

While the competitive matches could lead to improvements in the team, not least from being able to sign a better quality of player, Wicks said that he could see the idea appealing to supporters as well as aiding him in his business off the park.

"From a commercial perspective we see great opportunity and potential but I think the chance to have the stadium full on a more regular basis with strong European competition is what we want to see," he said.

"The opportunity for our player to be competing at that level is only going to help encourage new players to come to Aberdeen. For fans to enjoy some terrific nights of football at Pittodrie and for us as a club to drive new interest from a commercial perspective."

The plan would see the Europa League reduced from 48 teams to 32, with the as yet unnamed third competition being introduced with 32 teams of its own. UEFA will vote on the proposals in December.

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