The Premier League are set for a battle to try to prevent changes to European football which could lead to the formation of a Super League.
The idea of a European Super League has long been discussed as a change to the traditional Champions League setup, which would see the continent’s top sides break away to form their own league competition.
According to the Daily Mail, the European Clubs’ Association have proposed the idea of turning the Champions League group stage into a 32-team league which would see each team play ten games against ten different opponents.
The top eight would qualify automatically for the knockout stages, while the next 16 would head to a two-legged playoff for the chance to book their place in the next round.
That is what the ECA would prefer to do, but they are expected to face serious resistance from the Premier League, who have made no secret of their desire to see the current format remain intact.
All 20 clubs are understood to be united in their belief that things should not change, while overseas clubs like Atlético Madrid have also stressed their opposition to the proposals, but there is a fear that giants like Real Madrid and Juventus will push for the Super League plans to go through.
The Premier League want to preserve the current structure of their competition. They believe that keeping games on the weekend is integral to the success of English football – something which would be under real threat should this new system be introduced.
The rules do not have to be agreed upon until 2021, and UEFA will make the final decision at the end of the day, but they will listen to input from the major leagues.
Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli, who leads the ECA, has long pushed for changes to the European structure, insisting that domestic leagues are the ones harming football.
“We must stand united in the interests of European football,” he said back in October. “To say ‘No, no, no’ as the European leagues have done is not healthy.”
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