FA has written to UEFA to object to its proposals to reform the Champions League

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The Football Association has written to UEFA at the eleventh hour to object to plans for Champions League reform, fearing it could be devastating to English football and threaten the FA Cup.

The European football governing body is now ready to decide on a new format for the cash-bearing league at next week’s executive committee meeting.

The meeting promises to be a showdown where the FA and four other associations can join the European Leagues Association, against the mighty European Club Association and the rest.

According to UEFA's proposals, the Champions League would be expanded with four teams and 100 matches

According to UEFA’s proposals, the Champions League would be expanded with four teams and 100 matches

UEFA’s plans for the Champions League, which will come into play from 2024, have been described by Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish as ‘devastating’ and EFL chairman Rick Parry has warned that they will have a ‘huge impact’ ‘will have on the income from the lower leagues.

As reported by Sportsmail Yesterday, former FA chairman David Bersntein and his campaign group, Saving the Beautiful Game, believed that if the proposals are approved, it will widen the ‘obscene’ divide between rich clubs and the rest.

The controversial plans include expanding the league from 32 to 36 teams in a so-called Swiss model, resulting in 100 additional matches.

Lars-Christer Olsson, president of the European Leagues, is leading the campaign to change the competition's proposals, and UEFA is expected to make a decision next week.

Lars-Christer Olsson, president of the European Leagues, is leading the campaign to change the competition's proposals, and UEFA is expected to make a decision next week.

Lars-Christer Olsson, president of the European Leagues, is leading the campaign to change the competition’s proposals, and UEFA is expected to make a decision next week.

Proposals from UEFA and European competitions for the reform of the Champions League
UEFA European competitions
Increase teams from 32 to 36 Increase teams from 32 to 36
Of the four additional places point:
-Three using UEFA rankings
-one to fifth UEFA ranked country (France)
Of the four additional places point:
-Three new champions of European competitions
-one to fifth UEFA ranked country (France)
Increase indoor group stage matches
a ‘Swiss model’ from 6 to 10
Increase indoor group stage matches
a Swiss model from 6 to 8
Increase match days by four Increase match days by two
Increase the total number of games by 100 Increase the total number of games by 64
No decision on revenue sharing
until after the match format
agreement
Agree the division of the income on it
the same time as the format of the
competition, including:
-payments increase to not
participating clubs from 4% to 5%
-Earn in between
UEFA’s European competitions

UEFA hopes to make these extra matches possible by demanding four midweeks, exclusively for European football.

The games and charges for the players will threaten the future of both the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup, it is said, but the reforms are also expected to concentrate even more wealth at the biggest clubs undermining domestic competition.

In addition, every year UEFA tries to give a handful of the biggest clubs protected access to the Champions League

To date, the FA has been silent on the reforms.

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish raised objections to the plans at a European meeting

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish raised objections to the plans at a European meeting

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish raised objections to the plans at a European meeting

However, on Friday, Lars-Christer Olsson, the president of the European Leagues Association, which represents 35 leagues across the continent, including the Premier League, revealed that 10 associations had written to UEFA to object.

The English and Scottish FAs have both sent letters.

“We have a number of associations who have written to UEFA that they would like to see some adjustments,” said Olsson.

“In general they support the proposals of the European competitions.”

Sportsmail understands the FA is concerned about game schedules.

Five of the associations that have objected to the super-sized Champions League proposals are on UEFA’s executive committee, which will make a decision on March 31.

Aleksander Ceferin, president of UEFA, will chair the meeting when a decision has been taken

Aleksander Ceferin, president of UEFA, will chair the meeting when a decision has been taken

Aleksander Ceferin, president of UEFA, will chair the meeting when a decision has been taken

These associations can now join forces with the European leagues, which also sit on the committee, to object to the expanded competition.

“As far as I know, the associations will support our views,” said Olsson.

However, there is no guarantee that even the most unpopular aspects of the UEFA plan will be destroyed.

The executive committee, chaired by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, is made up of 16 member associations, plus two representatives from the European Club Association and one of the European leagues.

Fan groups have voiced concerns that supporters don't want more European football

Fan groups have voiced concerns that supporters don't want more European football

Fan groups have voiced concerns that supporters don’t want more European football

The committee has to decide on the format of the competition, but not the revenue distribution model, which is also a hugely controversial area.

The biggest clubs are already benefiting from a much larger share of the prize money.

Olsson admits it’s hard to say how the talk and vote will go at next week’s UEFA rally.

Plans to drastically expand the Champions League would have 'devastating' effect on English football, it is said

Plans to drastically expand the Champions League would have 'devastating' effect on English football, it is said

Plans to drastically expand the Champions League would have ‘devastating’ effect on English football, it is said

However, the leagues’ general manager, Jacco Swart, said his organization’s views should weigh heavily as they represent 35 leagues and 300 clubs, who attended a consultation on the topic earlier this month.

At that event, Football Supporters Europe, a representative body from across the continent, spoke out against expansion, saying fans wanted higher quality European football, no more.

“We think we represent the interests of many in European football.” Swart said.

One of the most controversial aspects of the UEFA plan is entry into the game.

According to the proposals, clubs with a history of European success can get a boost from the Europa League to the much more lucrative Champions League.

Three of the four additional places would be allocated based on UEFA coefficients, bringing three places to clubs with the highest European ranks.

Two places would be reserved for the highest placed clubs to finish in a Europe position.

Another place would go to the highest ranked club to win a European competition, which does not have automatic group stage qualification for the Champions League. This is often Ajax.

The last place would be assigned to the fifth-ranked country, which is France.

The Champions League proposals have been widely endorsed by the European Club Association.