Clubs now competing in the Champions League will have to play four more matches from 2024 as European football chiefs look to revamp the tournament, MySportDab reports.
According to The Times, European Clubs’ Association (ECA) and top figures at UEFA want to expand the competition, which could cause chaos for English fixtures which already have a hectic schedule.
Although it is yet to be confirmed how the four more Match days will be arranged, it is understood that the group stage of the Champions League will either be changed or another one added before the knockout rounds begin.
The ECA had originally planned to add 10 extra fixtures to the Champions League in order to increase matches played between Europe’s biggest clubs.
But it is claimed that they are satisfied by the new proposal of four matches, even though it could cause a major problem for Premier League clubs.
The Times claim that the Carabao Cup might be scrapped for clubs playing in the Champions League to avoid further issues.
The controversial plan which has been already opposed by the Premier League, would mean that clubs in the competition would play 17 matches rather 13.
However, the new format is likely to appeal to the top clubs like Liverpool, Manchester City and the other ‘Big Six’ sides as more Champions League matches will mean increased revenues.
There is potential for UEFA to propose eight groups of six clubs rather than four, or six groups of six clubs, in order to include the four extra matches to the schedule.
Another alternative method is to add an extra group stage, potentially with the usual eight quarter-finalists being split into two groups of four, with the top two progressing to the semi-finals.
As part of the new idea, clubs who reach the last four of the competition would automatically qualify for the next season’s group stage regardless of their league position.
More to follow….