New-look Champions League to be discussed in attempt to ward off European Super League threat

Competition could be revamped in 2024, with the Premier League and other leagues gathering on Friday for talks over the proposals

Jamie Gardner
Thursday 04 February 2021 17:53
comments
The Champions League currently sees 32 clubs compete in eight four-team groups before knockout rounds begin
The Champions League currently sees 32 clubs compete in eight four-team groups before knockout rounds begin

The Premier League and other European domestic leagues will meet on Friday to discuss plans for a new-look Champions League from 2024, the PA news agency understands.

A general gathering of all competitions affiliated to the European Leagues group will take place to discuss a Uefa proposal to revamp the continent's most prestigious tournament and combat the threat of a European Super League.

Uefa is believed to have suggested a scrapping of the existing format of eight 'mini-league' groups of four, to replace it with one league where each team plays 10 matches in a so-called 'Swiss system'.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: All knockout ties by date and kick-off time

That increase from six matches to 10 in the autumn would have calendar implications for Europe's domestic leagues, and from an English perspective would most obviously have an impact on the future of the Carabao Cup. Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin has previously said it would be "better for everyone" if that competition was ditched.

It is not yet clear if the leagues will give their approval to Uefa's proposal or ask for further time for consideration, but time may be a factor given increased momentum behind the European Super League.

Real Madrid are understood to be leading the breakaway project, which Fifa and the six continental confederations – including UEFA – have said they will not recognise.

Fifa has also warned that any players involved in a Super League would be barred from international competitions such as the World Cup.

European football's governing body has been consulting with various stakeholders on its proposals to reform its competitions from the 2024/25 season onwards, including European Leagues and the European Club Association.

The Football Supporters' Europe group said earlier this week that Super League proposals were "unpopular, illegitimate and dangerous".

Concerns have been expressed that accommodating all 32 or 36-team leagues in one league offers the 'flexibility' for the number of matches to be increased beyond 10 in the future.

European Leagues president Lars-Christer Olsson said in December: "I think it could be possible to squeeze another four dates into the calendar if we can see what kind of effect it is having on national team matches and other things, but it's too early to say now, it needs to be part of our negotiations."

PA

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments