New Champions League plan emerges to increase competition to 48 clubs in boost to Scottish hopes

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An alternative to the controversial proposed Champions League revamp is set to be submitted to UEFA in a boost to nations such as Scotland.

A group of clubs will reportedly send the new plan to the governing body before a crunch summit meeting on September 11.

The changes could see the competition expanded to as many as 48 teams in the next few seasons and provide easier passage for the Scottish Premiership champions, who must currently negotiate four qualifying rounds to reach the group stage.

According to The Times , the new format is being viewed as a compromise to the promotion/relegation format that has attracted widespread criticism and would further marginalise smaller nations.

Those plans, being championed by Juventus chief and European Club Association chairman Andrea Agnelli, would see clubs invited to take part regardless of domestic performance and have been widely panned.



Juventus chief Andrea Agnelli

He was dealt a blow last week when his club were the sole Italian side to back his vision, while Real Madrid and Barcelona were the only teams out of Europe’s superpowers to get behind it.

The 48-team format would involve eight groups of six, with the top two sides still progressing to the group stage. It’s also reported there would be less disruption to domestic and international schedules.

A similar plan was put forward by clubs including Celtic , Ajax and Anderlecht two years ago but was dismissed by UEFA.

Parkhead chief Peter Lawwell is an ECA board member and is fighting to secure the best deal for Scotland’s domestic champions.

The Hoops’ qualification campaign gets under way in four weeks’ time and they will have to play eight matches just to earn a place in the lucrative group stage.



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