Latest Champions League shake-up proposal could see 32-team division

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A proposal to overhaul the Champions League could see the group stage transformed into a 32-team division.

The Daily Mail has reported that the European Clubs’ Association has suggested a dramatic shake-up of football’s premier European club competition.

Under the new proposed schedule, each club would play 10 matches against 10 different opponents with the top-eight sides qualifying for the round of 16.

The remaining 16 teams would then take part in a two-legged play-off to join them in the knockout phase.

Home-and-away matches would be scrapped in the initial group stage – and, according to the report, fixtures would be determined on the 32 qualifiers being divided into four pots based on their coefficient.

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - Tuesday, December 10, 2019: FC Salzburg's Erling Braut Håland (L) and Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the final UEFA Champions League Group E match between FC Salzburg and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It is claimed that the top eight will also be guaranteed automatic qualification for the following season’s Champions League.

UEFA will take the final decision on any proposed new format.

Such a plan may spark fear among some that it could lead to the creation of a European Super League with the 32 clubs eventually split into two divisions and 16 home-and-away games.

The European Clubs’ Association consists of 232 teams and was founded in 2008.

Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham, Everton, Leicester and Newcastle are among its members. Juventus’ Andrea Agnelli is the organisation’s chairman.

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