The Champions League Could Be Radically Changed To Feature 14 Group Games
UEFA reportedly has plans in the pipeline for a major shake-up to the Champions League group stage by turning it into a 14-match format.
The Premier League's top six clubs are backing the move to be implemented from 2024 and it could lead to the 'extinction of the League Cup.'
According to the Sun, the competition would be divided into four groups and feature eight teams.
The top four teams of each group would progress to the last-16 stage of the Champions League.
And those who finish in fifth would qualify for next year's tournament, with sixth place and seventh place playing against one another to determine who would stay in the competition next season.
Finally, the bottom team would drop into the Europa League playoff rounds for the following season.
The proposed change would mean that teams would play a minimum of 14 matches in the competition and 21 wins needed to secure the Champions League trophy.
The newspaper reports that UEFA is still backing the idea of introducing a third tier of European football alongside the Champions League and Europa League.
If the plans were adopted, then continental fixtures per season would increase from 407 to a whopping 647.
The League Cup could be threatened with the increased number of fixtures that Premier League teams would have to compete in.
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The European Club Association has backed down from the demand of more fixtures being played on the weekends, with the Premier League keen to retain all 20 teams for the League Cup.
But England's top teams might have to withdraw from the competition to manage the extra European fixtures or play their younger players in matches.
Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli is spearheading the plan, with UEFA able to capitalise on the profit from sponsors and broadcasters.
The Sun says that UEFA and the ECA want to move forward with a 'concrete proposal' by November.
An insider told the newspaper: "This is a sign the biggest clubs recognise the importance of English football as a whole.
"They are not fighting for themselves -- they would potentially earn more money from Europe.
"But they know it would damage the Premier League, the EFL, even the National League. It is about helping to keep the whole game alive."
The group stage draw for this season's Champions League will take place in Monaco on Thursday night.
And the Europa League draw will be made on Friday morning in Monaco.
Should UEFA adopt the new proposals?
Let us know in the comments.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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