90min
Champions League

Aston Villa & Crystal Palace head Premier League opposition to Champions League reform

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Eagles chairman Steve Parish has voiced concerns over the changes
Eagles chairman Steve Parish has voiced concerns over the changes / Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images
facebooktwitterreddit

Aston Villa and Crystal Palace are spearheading opposition to the reformed Champions League among smaller Premier League clubs.

Under the new system, the number of teams in the competition is set to increase to 36, while the group stages will also undergo a major revamp. From 2024 it is expected that teams will play a random 10 games - an increase of four - against weighted opposition, determined by UEFA coefficients.

The Champions League is set to be reformed from 2024
The proposed changes have caused much controversy / David Ramos/Getty Images

There is also the possibility of historical success affording clubs who fail to qualify through traditional routes a place in the competition.

The proposals have been dismissed by some as a thinly veiled big club power grab, with Palace chairman Steve Parish hitting out at the plans during Wednesday's European Leagues conference.

"I can’t quite buy into that thinking that we should be grateful that it’s only an extra 100 games. From the point of view of where we sit this will have a quite devastating effect on domestic competition in England. We have three cup competitions…one of which the league cup is the largest financial contributor to the EFL and the 72 clubs.

"My question to everybody is: ‘where does this all end?’ When we began the European Cup was a knockout competition of five games for just the champions. We are now looking at an extra 100 games. This may not be affecting your domestic leagues as much as it looks like it will affect our domestic competitions in this cycle but the creep is never-ending."

His comments were echoed by EFL boss Rick Parry and Villa chairman Christian Purslow, who said: "Aston Villa are one-time winners of the pinnacle of European football, the European Cup.

"English and European football has always been about living the dream. Beating big teams, climbing up the ladder, entering European football is what in sporting terms that dream is all about."


facebooktwitterreddit