MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – Agreement on the new-look Champions League structure is close to being complete and should be sealed in the next two weeks, says Andrea Agnelli, president of Juventus and chairman of the European Club Association (ECA).
UEFA has proposed a major change to the Champions League from 2024 with 36 rather than 32 teams and an overhaul of the group stage into a single table rather than the current groups of four clubs.
While there has been criticism of some elements of the plan from the European Leagues organisation, which represents the continent’s domestic competitions, Agnelli believes the deal is virtually done.
“I would dearly hope that everything will be done in the next couple of weeks, there are details that needs to be addressed, one being the access to the competition, how will the four extra spots be allocated?
“But I would say that within a couple of weeks everything should be pretty much sorted,” he said.
UEFA’s initial proposal allowed for extra spots to be given for teams placed highest in their rankings, opening the way for the top leagues to have more than four clubs on a regular basis.
The Leagues have argued that the extra spots should go to the champions of smaller leagues and Agnelli said he expected the deal would see a compromise with both routes included.
(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Christian Radnedge)
Photo – EPA/DANIEL DAL ZENNARO