German, French leagues oppose Champions League proposals

Ed Woodward has his say on the proposals to change Champions League’s format

Ed Woodward has his say on the proposals to change Champions League’s format

Europe's domestic leagues have rejected current proposals for a near-closed Champions League, saying it would benefit only a few "rich and dominant clubs".

The reforms were initially proposed by the European Club Association (ECA), of which 13 DFL clubs including Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are also members.

The statement comes after a board meeting in Warsaw, with European Leagues criticising the proposals from the European Clubs Association.

The German Football League (DFL), which runs the top two divisions of the Football League system - the Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga - said in a statement that such a competition would have "unacceptable consequences" for national leagues around Europe.

The French league said clubs' representatives unanimously agreed to work on the federation's alternative option.

UEFA has said discussions are at a preliminary stage and has not given any further details.

Documents seen by AFP last week revealed UEFA were working on similar reforms, with plans to reshape the Champions League into four pools of eight teams, with only four of the 32 participants qualifying through their national leagues.

Only four places would be open to the winners of Europe's 54 national leagues.

"French football is anxious about the current project's sporting and economic consequences on national leagues, " the league said.

"We must not allow the traditional national leagues to become less attractive for millions of people across the continent", he said.

"In all discussions, two points are of crucial importance: the number of games in the football calendar and, above all, access to global competitions", said Seifert.

The initial proposals, put forward by the ECA president Andrea Agnelli in March, envisaged a single, three-tiered European competition with internal promotion and relegation, effectively making it harder for smaller clubs to break into European competition.

Uefa has been told to scrap plans to reform club football from 2024 and start its project "from scratch".

Fearing a loss of TV revenues for French football authorities and clubs, and an overcrowded match calendar, Le Graet said a closed-off Champions League would undermine the country's domestic championship.

Speaking on a conference call to United's investors, he said: "This is partly driven by domestic leagues across Europe not necessarily thriving and there being a desire from the clubs that are toward the top of those leagues to play more European games, which perhaps are more competitive".

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