Changes to Champions League are unlikely to be decided this year after UEFA called off joint talks with the heads of European clubs and leagues, according to reports.
The parties have been debating a potential restructure of Europe’s elite competitions for several months and were due to meet UEFA President Aleksandr Ceferin on September 11.
However, talks involving Ceferin, European Club Association (ECA) chairman Andrea Agnelli and European Leagues president Lars-Christer Olsson have now been postponed, with clubs still arguing over the possibility of a radical overhaul of the competition.
In a letter obtained by the Associated Press, the UEFA chief wrote to Agnelli and Olsson: “I have decided to postpone the meeting,”
“I will send a new invitation as soon as I think that we are ready for a meaningful discussion.
“We are currently in the process of gathering feedback from our national associations,” Ceferin wrote.
“And I feel — more generally — that a new discussion now would be premature as we are analyzing feedback and proposals coming from different parties.”
The letter was sent out a day before the ECA board, led by Agnelli, privately meets in Liverpool to discuss ideas for an overhaul of Europe’s club competitions from 2024.
The Juventus chairman has received criticism for championing a largely closed Champions League and has seen his main idea of restricting access to the competition strongly opposed by both the European Leagues group and a number of ECA member clubs.
One of the plans presented by UEFA would see 24 of the 32 teams in the Champions League group stages keep their place in the competition for the following year.
It would mean that clubs would be able to keep their place in Europe’s elite club competition without performing well in their own domestic leagues.
The change would also result in promotion and relegation being introduced in the Europa League as part of a new three-tier structure.
Meanwhile, the ECA has also called for the Champions League’s current four-team groups to be doubled so that each contains eight sides.
The Premier League is among those opposing significant changes to the competition’s current structure and claims to have backing from all of its teams.
“As you know very well, UEFA deliberately kicked off the review process for the 2024/27 competition cycle much ahead of our regular schedule and we are therefore in no hurry,” Ceferin added in his letter to Agnelli and Olsson.
“We do not, in any case, expect to make a decision this year.”