Uefa considering expanding Champions League to 64 teams
The Europa League could be scrapped in favour of a 64-team Champions League from 2015, says Uefa president Michel Platini
Uefa is considering doubling the number of teams in the Champions League to 64 and scrapping the Europa League from 2015, it has emerged.
“We’re discussing it. We will make a decision in 2014. Nothing is decided yet,” Uefa president Michel Platini told French newspaper Ouest-France.
“There is an ongoing debate to determine what form the European competitions will have between 2015 and 2018.”
If pushed through, the shake-up would mean that seven English clubs and five Scottish teams could enter the new competition at a qualifying round stage.
The Champions League is a far more lucrative competition than Europe’s second-tier counterpart, with Chelsea having been awarded £47m after winning the trophy last season.
In contrast, Europa League winners Atletico Madrid received only £8.5m as a result of their run to the final.
Barcelona president Sandro Rosell said earlier this month that he would like to reduce the number of teams in the top tier of domestic leagues and expand the Champions League, sparking reports of a breakaway competition.
But Platini insists he is unconcerned by talk of a tournament to rival Uefa’s flagship competition being set up.
“It’s a question that is regularly brought up,” said Platini.
“I can’t see how it could work outside the Uefa framework. Who will referee them? In what stadiums will they play?”