Football: Bayern seek cut in elite

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The Independent Online
BAYERN MUNICH want the first division of the German Bundesliga to be reduced from 18 to 16 teams to give the leading clubs more time to prepare for their European Champions' League matches.

"It would certainly help if we had only 16 clubs," Bayern's vice-president, Fritz Scherer, said yesterday.

Scherer said there should be fewer fixtures for the elite clubs if the Champions' League was to feature 32 teams.

Last week Uefa, European football's governing body, reacting to plans by several European clubs, including Bayern, to form a breakaway super league, outlined proposals to expand the Champions' League to 32 clubs from next season.

"Such an evolution does not threaten the existence of the Bundesliga," Scherer said. "It [the expanded Champions' League] is not a proper league. We will stay in the Bundesliga."

Scherer said Bayern had noted Uefa's proposals and disagreed on one issue: that the European body would continue to market television rights.

"We want to handle that ourselves," he said.