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Manchester United, Chelsea leading opposition to Champions League changes?

Man Utd, Chelsea leading opposition to CL changes?
© Reuters
Manchester United and Chelsea are reportedly playing an important role in halting plans for radical reforms of the Champions League in the next few years.

Manchester United and Chelsea have reportedly helped to halt plans for radical reforms of the Champions League in the next few years.

The European Club Association (ECA) had been working with UEFA on a range of new ideas, one of which would have seen the introduction of a new three-tiered system involving 128 teams and promotion and relegation.

Additionally, they had also hoped to change the Champions League such that it had four groups of eight rather than eight groups of four, with 24 of Europe's biggest clubs guaranteed a spot every season irrespective of their domestic performances.

These changes would have seen clubs play 14 group stage games before reaching the knockout phases- something that United's Ed Woodward and Bruce Buck from Chelsea highlighted would be a major problem at this week's ECA general assembly in Geneva.

The Sun reports that the two men, who were leading the Premier League delegation, intimated that the only way these additional fixtures could be accommodated would be by withdrawing from one of England's domestic competitions, most likely the League Cup.

It is believed that the non-participation of those teams would affect both the tournament and the other clubs participating in it, and it now appears that the ECA will be looking at alternative plans in the coming months.

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