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Sir Alex Ferguson doubts Premier League clubs would want Champions League change

Sir Alex Ferguson doubts Premier League clubs would want Champions League change
© Reuters
Could football's premier European club competition be in line for a dramatic shake-up?

Sir Alex Ferguson believes a global Super League would not be attractive to leading English Premier League teams.

It has been reported the European Clubs' Association has suggested a dramatic shake-up of football's premier European club competition, which could see the Champions League group stage transformed into a 32-team division.

A final decision on any proposed new format would be taken by UEFA.

 Sir Alex Ferguson with the Champions League trophy
Sir Alex Ferguson won the Champions League twice with Manchester United (Peter Byrne/PA)

Such a plan may spark fear among some that it could lead to the creation of a European Super League, with the 32 clubs eventually split into two divisions and 16 home-and-away games.

FIFA, meanwhile, wants to extend the current Club World Cup format to some 24 sides from 2021 – a move which has brought strong opposition from the European governing body.

There have also been suggestions a global Super League could eventually be organised, which would see member clubs no longer play in domestic competitions.

However, Ferguson – who guided Manchester United to European success in 1999 and 2008 as well as some 13 Premier League titles – cannot understand the appeal.

"I struggle to see why an English team would need to leave," Ferguson told the BBC.

"Without question, it is money orientated, but surely this would not be attractive to our clubs in the Premier League, which at the moment is the best domestic league in world football and is well supported financially by Sky, BT and now Amazon.

The match being streamed on the Amazon Prime App at St Mary's, Southampton.
Amazon recently streamed live Premier League matches for the first time (Steven Paston/PA)

"Furthermore, the attraction of playing in the Champions League is huge for players, coaches and fans alike, as it remains the ultimate test in club football.

"A lot of clubs with great history could be lost if their partners in the Premier League upped sticks.

"I strongly believe this is a realistic appraisal of the value of domestic football."

Liverpool celebrate
Liverpool won last season's final in Madrid (Peter Byrne/PA)

Under the new proposed schedule for the Champions League, each club would play 10 matches against 10 different opponents with the top-eight sides qualifying for the round of 16.

The remaining 16 teams would then take part in a two-legged play-off to join them in the knockout phase.

Home and away matches would be scrapped in the initial group stage and – according to the report – fixtures would be determined on the 32 qualifiers being divided into four pots based on their coefficient.

It is claimed that the top eight would also be guaranteed automatic qualification for the following season's Champions League.

The European Clubs' Association consists of 232 teams and was founded in 2008.

Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham, Everton, Leicester and Newcastle are among its members.

Juventus' Andrea Agnelli is the organisation's chairman.

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rhs 2.0
FA Cup
Championship
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Bundesliga
Australian Open Third Round
Result
Girogi
Kerber
2 7  3
6 64 6
Result
Pavlyuchenkova
Pliskova
7  7 
64 63
Result
Vekic
Swiatek
5 3
7 6
Result
Monfils
Gulbis
7  6 6
62 4 3
Result
Bencic
Kontaveit
0 1
6 6
Result
Putintseva
Halep
1 4
6 6
Result
Fritz
Thiem
2 4 7  4
6 6 65 6
Result
Goffin
Rublev
6 63 4 64
2 7  6 7 
Result
Nadal
Carreno Busta
6 6 6
1 2 4
Result
Mertens
Bellis
6 65 6
1 7  0
Result
Isner
Wawrinka
4 1
6 4
(ret.)
7.50am
Kyrgios
Khachanov
8am
Verdasco
Zverev
8am
Svitolina
Muguruza
10am
Medvedev
Popyrin
10.30am
Diyas
Bertens
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool23221054153967
2Manchester CityMan City24163565273851
3Leicester CityLeicester24153652242848
4Chelsea2412484132940
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd249783629734
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs249783832634
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2481063532334
8Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd248972523233
9Southampton2494113142-1131
10Arsenal2461263234-230
11Crystal Palace247982228-630
12Everton2486102835-730
13Burnley2493122838-1030
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2486102436-1230
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2467112734-725
16Aston Villa2474133145-1425
17West Ham UnitedWest Ham2365122738-1123
18Bournemouth2465132337-1423
19Watford2458112136-1523
20Norwich CityNorwich2445152447-2317

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