Champions League revamp talks could herald end of group stage – The Guardian

Champions League revamp talks could herald end of group stage – The Guardian

Champions League

  • Leagues to gather on Friday amid super league threat
  • Uefa proposing one league with each team playing 10 games

PA Media

The Premier League and other domestic leagues across Europe will gather on Friday to discuss proposals for a new‑look Champions League from 2024.

An extraordinary general meeting of all leagues affiliated to the European Leagues group will be convened to discuss a Uefa proposal to reform the continent’s most prestigious competition and head off the threat of a European Super League.

Uefa is understood to have proposed the scrapping of the format of eight groups of four and replacing it with one league where each team plays 10 matches in a so-called “Swiss system”.

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 Carabao Cup. Uefa’s president, Aleksander Ceferin, has said it would be “better for everyone” if that competition was dropped.

It is not clear whether the leagues will approve 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 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 stakeholders on its proposals to revamp its competitions from the 2024-25 season onwards, including European Leagues and the European Club Association.

The Football Supporters’ Europe group said this week that Super League proposals were “unpopular, illegitimate and dangerous”. Concerns have been expressed that accommodating all 32 or 36 teams in one league offers the “flexibility” for the number of matches to be increased beyond 10 in the future.

The 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.”

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