Premier League clubs concerned about ‘unworkable’ Champions League reform and match congestion | Soccer News


Premier League clubs are very concerned that Champions League expansion plans will lead to “unfeasible” match congestion and the possibility of European matches taking place on the same day as top-flight domestic games.

So far there had been an agreement with UEFA that there should be no clash between Champions League matches and Premier League fixtures, with the weekend protected for domestic fixtures .

But Sky Sports News has been told that UEFA’s plans would be unworkable and could lead to head-to-head European and domestic fixtures, particularly if proposals are put forward for 10 team Champions League group matches from 2024 instead of the six matches currently played. .

UEFA has already committed to expanding the Champions League from 32 teams to 36 from 2024. This was voted on without fanfare at its executive committee meeting last month.

We understand that the Premier League are currently pressuring UEFA for only two additional matches per team in the group stages instead of the four offered. This would bring the total number of group stage games to eight per side.

Under the current system, there are 125 total Champions League games per season. If the tournament is expanded to include eight group matches per side, that would mean 64 extra matches – 189 in total (a 50% increase), while 10 group matches would mean 100 extra matches and a total of 225 League matches. champions. across Europe, throughout the tournament – an increase of 80%.

Some officials have told Sky Sports News that such a big expansion could well lead to a drop in UEFA’s revenue as broadcasters across Europe could be deterred from bidding for the rights to host the tournament. UEFA rules state that broadcasters who obtain the rights must broadcast all matches, not select the best ones.

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Sky Sports News’ Rob Dorsett explains the possible repercussions of UEFA’s proposed changes to the Champions League.

The new ‘Swiss format’ proposed by UEFA is set to be ratified by its executive committee next month – although there are whispers among European officials that UEFA may be forced to compromise.

Plans include 36 clubs coming together in a single ‘conference’, in which each team is drawn to play eight or 10 different opponents, based on UEFA’s ‘coefficient’ – meaning teams that have historically done better in European competitions will be ranked higher, and play more of their group matches against less opposition.

The top 16 teams in the conference will then advance to the Round of 16, where the format will remain the same as it is now. There will be no more home and away matches against the same opponent until the round of 16.

Elsewhere in Europe, there are fears that UEFA is pandering to English elite clubs by offering them more and more Champions League places, at the expense of smaller footballing nations. Currently, champions from 44 European countries must pre-qualify for the Champions League before they have a chance to reach the group stages.




Sky Sports

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