European clubs to discuss Champions League revamp in Malta
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European clubs to discuss Champions League revamp in Malta

Andrea Agnelli, chairman of the European Clubs Association (ECA).

Andrea Agnelli, chairman of the European Clubs Association (ECA).

The European Club Association said Thursday it would hold a special general assembly in June to discuss controversial proposals to revamp European club competitions.

In a statement the body which represents European league clubs said the June 6-7 assembly in Malta "fits into the (ECA) board’s clear intent to maintain a process around UEFA Club Competitions post 2024 which is undertaken in a transparent, direct and engaged manner".

Proposals to change the Champions League after 2024 have triggered opposition from several leading European football leagues.

A revamped Champions League would feature four groups of eight teams in the pool phase as opposed to the eight groups of four in the current format, according to media reports.

The top six teams in each group would qualify for the following year's edition regardless of where they finish in their domestic competition, according to reports.

However, in a letter addressed Wednesday to the ECA's 232 member clubs and seen by AFP, ECA president Andrea Agnelli, chairman of Juventus, referred to "incorrect speculation and rumour" in the media and said "no concrete proposals" for change had been agreed.

Plans for change have sparked concern across Europe and the region's leagues which organise domestic competitions have summoned 900 clubs to meet in Madrid on May 6 to 7 to discuss the proposals.

Agnelli told ECA members he opposed the Madrid talks and urged them not to attend.

The following day European football's governing body UEFA hosts European league delegates at its Swiss headquarters in Nyon to address the changes.

In response to Agnelli's declarations, Lars-Christer Olsson, the president of the European Leagues, said it was a "strange letter" to receive.

"The letter is not only containing false accusations but also information which is misleading regarding the future debate on the development of European professional club competitions and the actions taken by the European Leagues," said the Swede.

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