Basel could force Swiss league changes

Marc Janko celebrates with his teammates. Source: FC Basel

FC Basel's dominance of Swiss football has forced the country's domestic league to explore new formats that might make the season less predictable.

Claudius Schaefer, CEO of the Swiss Football League (SFL), told Reuters he fears looming changes to the distribution of Champions League revenue could entrench Basel's supremacy further.

Basel, who feature former Sydney FC striker Marc Janko, won their eighth successive league title, wrapping it up with six games to spare.

"The most important thing in the championship is the competitive balance," Schaefer said in an interview.

"If you have the same champions eight times in a row, you have to be worried, so we are looking in to reforms."

Schaefer says Basel were a well-managed club who deserved their success.

"They haven't had the owners or president changing every couple of years like some other clubs," he said.

"It's too simple to argue that FC Basel are where they are only because of the UEFA payments."

But he admits the money the club pocketed from their European forays gave them a clear advantage in a league where the average revenue, according to a UEFA benchmarking report, is 21.1 million euros ($A31 million) per season.

Basel have played in the Champions League group stage six times since 2008, earning 17.85 million euros ($A26.2 million) from their participation in 2014-15 alone.

Schaefer says this amount would rise dramatically under a new Champions League format that will come into effect in 2018.

He calculates Basel could earn around 40 million ($A58.8 million) euros each season that they qualify from 2018-19.

"This is a little less than the (entire) budget for our second biggest club Young Boys," Schaefer said.

Basel did not wish to comment on the matter.

The Swiss league, which has 10 clubs who play each other four times a season, is a world away from the major European leagues, with average attendances of under 10,000.

Schaefer says the SFL would distribute a total 40 million Swiss francs ($A53.6 million) to the first and second division clubs from television and marketing next season, double the current amount but only a fraction of what bigger leagues pay.

Meanwhile, the Swiss league was considering splitting the league competition in to stages or groups as other countries such as Denmark, Bulgaria and Belgium have done.

Another possibility is that any team taking part in the Champions League split their winnings.

"We discussed this at the general assembly and it decided not to go further," Schaefer said.

Source AAP