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Good News For Celtic - Controversial Changes Postponed
SCOTTISH clubs have been given a European reprieve after a controversial revamp of the Champions League was postponed with fresh doubts they will ever go ahead.

SCOTTISH clubs have been given a European reprieve after a controversial revamp of the Champions League was postponed with fresh doubts they will ever go ahead.

A proposal presented earlier this year by UEFA would have guaranteed 24 of 32 Champions League group teams return the following season while introducing significant promotion and relegation with the Europa League.

This would have hugely benefitted clubs from the bigger countries with the chances of the Scottish champions entering the lucrative group stage, which at the moment isn’t happening, would be even more difficult as only four teams from the qualifying rounds would be allowed in.

But UEFA on Thursday (today) called off joint talks with the heads of European clubs and leagues who have spent months arguing over a potential radical overhaul of the formats of European competitions.

European Club Association chairman Andrea Agnelli, who has been criticised for championing a largely closed Champions League, and European Leagues president Lars-Christer Olsson were due to jointly meet UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin on September 11 but that has been put off for the moment.

“I have decided to postpone the meeting,” Ceferin wrote to Agnelli and Olsson in a letter obtained by The Associated Press. “I will send a new invitation as soon as I think that we are ready for a meaningful discussion.”

The letter was sent a day before the ECA executive board, led by the Juventus chairman Agnelli, is to meet in private in Liverpool to discuss their vision for an overhaul of continent-wide club competitions from 2024.

The third competition — provisionally called Europa League Two — is already due to launch in 2021.

“We are currently in the process of gathering feedback from our national associations,” Ceferin wrote, “and I feel — more generally — that a new discussion now would be premature as we are analysing feedback and proposals coming from different parties.”

The European Leagues group has fiercely opposed Agnelli’s core idea of restricting access to the Champions League and Europa League, as have dozens of teams from across the continent who are members of the ECA.

The ECA has been calling for eight-team groups in the Champions League instead of the current four. That would guarantee clubs more revenue from UEFA for playing 14 games before the knockout rounds instead of the current six.

This would benefit the illustrious clubs who want to play each other more often in Europe, appearing to be dissatisfied with a lack of competition at home. Juventus has won eight straight Italian titles, Bayern Munich has won the last seven in Germany, and Paris Saint-Germain has won six of seven in France.

The English Premier League is the leading force resisting dramatic changes to the Champions League and claims to have backing from all of its teams. That includes Manchester United, whose executive vice chairman Ed Woodward is an ECA executive board member.

Atletico Madrid led the attack from Spain — which Barcelona and Real Madrid didn’t sign up to — by accusing the ECA of launching a “frontal attack” on the stability of the European game by advocating a model that harms domestic leagues.

A third competition would kick off in the 2021-22 season with a 32-team format in eight groups of four. But it could be enlarged to 64 teams from 2024, with four groups of 16 teams, possibly arranged by region.

Posted by voc1967 on Thursday 15 August 2019 - 21:18:26 | Comments (0)  |  printer friendly
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