Premier League slams Champions League reform proposals

MADRID, SPAIN - JUNE 01: General view of the pre match entertainment prior to the UEFA Champions League Final between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on June 01, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Matthew Lewis - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)
General view of the UEFA Champions League final. (Photo by Matthew Lewis - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

The Premier League has once again spoken out against proposed changes to elite level European football which it claims could harm the domestic game.

The European Clubs’ Association (ECA), made up of the continent’s finest teams, recently put forward plans to alter the structure of the Champions League from 2024 onwards.

The ECA suggested 14 group matches and a promotion and relegation to system to determine qualification, as opposed to the existing six group matches and qualification through league position.

Leading figures, including France president Emmanuel Macron and Bundesliga representatives, have come out against the changes to the most prestigious competition in club football.

And the Premier League has echoed those criticisms, saying they are ‘unanimously’ opposed to the reforms which would be ‘detrimental’ to domestic leagues.

“The Premier League and our clubs today unanimously reaffirmed our strong opposition to the proposed reform of UEFA club competitions from 2024, which would alter the structure, calendar and competitiveness of league football,” a statement read.

“We believe the proposals – particularly the suggested format and qualification criteria – would be detrimental to domestic leagues across the continent.

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“There was unanimous agreement that the domestic game should continue to be the priority for professional clubs, and any changes to the football calendar must respect the requirements of domestic competitions.

“Critically, qualification for the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League must continue to depend on current domestic performance.

“The clubs have asked the Premier League to now work with UEFA, fans and other stakeholders across Europe, to identify constructive proposals which improve European club competitions without harming domestic football.

The statement added the organisation will raise the matter with the ECA this week.

Reinhard Rauball, president of the DFB and Borussia Dortmund, told reporters: “Our league comes first and we have to take care that a successful league is not destroyed.”

Meanwhile, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin hit back after president Macron slammed the proposals.

"It's a political interference into sports. It's not appropriate," Ceferin said at the FIFA Congress on Wednesday.

"It's impolite to come to the opening ceremony before the women's World Cup and speak completely about other topics.

"But this is not our problem and of course any political interference will not influence it."

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