UEFA Proposes 64-Team Champions League – Good Idea or Bad?
The Europa League has been criticised in recent weeks for its value and UEFA President Michel Platini has confirmed that the governing body of European football are considering expanding the Champions League to almost double its current size.
The Champions League generated £800 million more than the Europa League in income alone last season.
“We’re discussing it. We will make a decision in 2014. Nothing is decided yet. There is an ongoing debate to determine what form the European competitions will have between 2015 and 2018,” Platini told French newspaper Ouest-France
The proposals would effectively double the number of teams appearing in the competition from each country with changes from four to seven English clubs involved and two to five Scottish clubs involved.
The plans have been met with a mixed reaction from among the football community with some suggesting the proposal would destroy the point of the Champions League as an elite football competition.
Many are suggesting that the Champions League should even revert back to a format that would see only the champions from each domestic league taking part in the competition.
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew recently said the Europa League was more punishing than the Champions League because of its schedule meaning matches played on a Thursday night with most European clubs having domestic weekend fixtures.
The proposals being discussed may have been triggered by the threat of many top European clubs stating they will form a breakaway European League if the Champions League is not amended to include more sides.
Many top teams, including Barcelona, are thought to want a format which increases the number of European games with smaller domestic leagues meaning fewer fixtures immediately after mid-week European games.