UEFA General Secretary David Taylor has been based at the Nyon headquarters of European football's governing body for 15 months now, having previously been chief executive of the Scottish Football Association. In a forum with fans on uefa.com, he discussed his initial thoughts on his new role, the rise of Russia as a force in club competitions, and how any detrimental effects concerning money in the game can be countered.
sidcowans: After 15 months, what has surprised you most about your new role at UEFA?
David Taylor: Having come from a position as a chief executive of a national association, what has surprised me most has been the similarity of the role I now perform to what I did in the past. The surprise is not that there are new things, but that it's similar, but with the issues magnified
kev123: Do you expect English teams to dominate the UEFA Champions League again?
David Taylor: That's a difficult question to answer. The challenge from Spain and Italy will be stronger this year. It could well be that English clubs will reach the latter stages of the competition. If I had to make an educated guess, then this year will not be the same situation as last season with three out of the last four. I say this as a football supporter, and not as the organiser of the competition.
Supersonic89: Why do the trophy ceremonies now happen in the stands, not on the pitch?
David Taylor: Tradition is important. I think the spectacle of the participants in the match climbing the steps to the centre of the stand to receive the trophy adds something to the whole event.
adiman: Do you think the UEFA Champions League has a destabilising effect on domestic leagues, with the same clubs qualifying due to the income they generate from the competition?
David Taylor: I don't think it's just the UEFA Champions League. We have seen huge revenues come into football on the back of media deals - this has resulted in the rich becoming richer. In professional sport, this normally means they can attract the best players. For the long-term health of all competitions, it is important that we look at issues relating to the training and development of homegrown players; that we also examine issues such as the 6+5 rule (restricting clubs to five foreign players in their starting XI) and that we consider what might be done with the agreement of clubs and leagues in the field of financial fair play.
matchboxsuperhero: Do you think the money being invested in the Russian league could soon see it join England, Italy and Spain as a superpower in European football?
David Taylor: We are already seeing the first signs of that. It's a relatively predictable state of affairs that professional footballers – like any other employee group – will be attracted by the money available for their skills. With revenues flooding into Russian clubs, I would expect them to grow stronger over the coming years.
©UEFA.com 1998-2013. All rights reserved.