The Champions League is the biggest club competition in the world.
And in terms of quality, it is far better than even the World Cup these days, with the finest players on the globe going head-to-head over the season.
Winning the trophy is one of the most difficult things to do, making Real Madrid’s three wins on the bounce even more impressive.
This year, there is no real clear favourite, with Barcelona, Juventus, Liverpool and Manchester City all enjoying wonderful seasons.
And who would bet against Ajax, Porto, Manchester United or Tottenham pulling off an upset against the quartet? It truly is the best tournament.
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However, it seems the European Club Association (ECA) are not content with maintaining the current format of the competition.
According to The Times, they are trying to force UEFA to make some ‘radical changes’ for after 2024 and they may not go down too well with fans across the continent.
A NEW GROUP STAGE
One idea ECA are attempting to force is a new group format, having four groups of eight teams instead of eight groups of four.
That would mean each team partaking in 14 group games instead of the current six.
The system would be slightly similar to the old one, where there were two group stages before the knockout rounds – that was abolished after the 2002/03 season.
While it would mean more of Europe’s top clubs facing each other throughout the season, there’s simply nothing better than knockout football.
THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE AS ‘A CLOSED SHOP’
The other radical change the ECA are putting forward to UEFA is to effectively remove the qualifying process altogether.
They want the competition to have the same teams year in, year out and Premier League clubs will be warned today about this potential scenario.
It could spell the end for smaller clubs making it to the pinnacle of the European game, in what would be a sad step backwards for football on the continent.