Premier League clubs are resigned to UEFA reforming the Champions League from 2024 despite fresh objection from top-flight executives.
European football’s governing body are doubling down on proposals to expand their elite club competition to 36 teams, in addition to a host of contentious changes to the competition.
The plans were first laid out to clubs in a video conference call on February 17, when some outside the traditional top six spoke out against the proposals.
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Sportsmail can reveal there was further push-back at a subsequent Premier League meeting last week, with club chiefs insisting they weren’t prepared to accept UEFA’s expansions plans in their current guise.
There was particular concern during last Wednesday’s video call at plans to include a ‘wildcard’ rule based on UEFA’s coefficient, with clubs outside the traditional top six concerned their European places would be at risk even if they finish high enough in the Premier League to qualify.
There was also apprehension at how the expansion would impact on clubs’ fixture schedules, which are already bursting.
UEFA has put forward plans to expand the Champions League from 2024 from 32 to 36 teams
Certain clubs feel there is no option but to scrap the Carabao Cup or FA Cup if the expansion is approved.
Turning the Carabao Cup into an Under 21 competition is another idea that has been floated.
At the moment, there is a break in Champions League football between December and February, but the increased number of games would see that period — during which Premier League football has exclusivity — effectively removed.
The Premier League will probably fight any attempts to play Champions League matches on weekends so as not to detract from their product.
The Premier League are pushing for UEFA to deliver a watered-down version of the proposals
But despite the unease at UEFA’s plans, those clubs lower down the top flight believe they will be powerless to prevent the organisation from introducing a revamped competition in three years.
However, they are pushing for UEFA to deliver a watered-down version of the proposals before giving the green light.
The European governing body are under increasing pressure to provide a bigger Champions League, which would be more lucrative for its participants, amid the mooted idea of a breakaway European Super League.