Europe's top sides push for Champions League reshuffle

After the final set of Champions League group games concluded this week, the top 16 will discover their knockout round opponents in Monday’s draw in Monday’s draw.

Among those remaining are holders Liverpool alongside fellow English sides Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.

While clubs prepare for Monday’s draw in Switzerland, behind the scenes, a much bigger situation is taking place.

That’s because after years of discussion and speculation, the Champions League could be given the green light ahead of a reshuffle.

And according to the Mirror, it is set to become the biggest shake-up since the competition replaced the European Cup in 1992.

The European Club Association board have set up a new working group to highlight details regarding proposals for the potential reshape.

AC Milan chief executive Ivan Gazidis is at the helm of the working group and the revamped format could be given the go-ahead by March.

That means that if all is agreed, it will be introduced by 2024.

So what are these new proposals?

Well, the first one comes in the form of a league of 32 sides.

Each team would be seeded before playing 10 games and if progression to the last 16 is clinched, they’ll be awarded qualification to the following season’s Champions League.

With a current total of 79 clubs playing Champions League football this campaign, a cut to 32 would mean finishing in the top four would no longer guarantee a place the following year.

Another proposal is to have six groups which will include six sides, with groups of eight also in discussion, according to the Mirror.

The idea behind the reshuffle is to guarantee the elite teams a place in the competition every year and the revamped group games could see more big fixtures take place at that stage.

This will pose problems for teams like Leicester City as it means Champions League places will be harder to clinch outside of the elite sides.

On top of this, four pots are also in discussion whereby the elite will be in the top one before the second tier will include clubs such as Ajax.

This will then drop down to pot three where Celtic and Rangers are likely to be while smaller Eastern European nations would take up the fourth pot.

The ECA are also discussing the introduction of a third European competition in the form of the UEFA Conference League and relegation and promotion could be a likelihood.

It’s uncertain as to what the new format will look like but what is for sure is that the ECA are pushing for a 32-team competition based around the elite teams.

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