Revealed: The new format UEFA wants for the Champions League

Date published: Thursday 4th February 2021 5:32 - James Marshment

Bayern Munich Champions League winners 2020

The Premier League and other domestic leagues across Europe will gather on Friday to discuss proposals for a new-look Champions League from 2024, the PA news agency understands.

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 existing format of eight ‘mini-league’ groups of four. The plan is to replace 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. From an English perspective, it would most obviously have an impact on the future of the Carabao Cup. It could even see those sides competing in the Champions League having to opt out of the League Cup altogether.

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 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 revamp its competitions. That plan would see changes implemented from the 2024-25 season onwards. It would include and affect all European Leagues and the European Club Association.

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Super League proposals ‘unpopular’

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

Concerns have been expressed abour accommodating all 32 or 36-team leagues in one league. The main fear is whether it offers the ‘flexibility’ for 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. But we need to see what kind of effect it is having on national team matches. It’s too early to say now, it needs to be part of our negotiations.”

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