Europa League may be scrapped for a bigger Champions League, reveals Michel Platini
Published 28/11/2012 | 13:22
THE Champions League could be expanded to 64 teams and the Europa League scrapped entirely, said UEFA President Michel Platini
Asked if there was a plan to scrap the Europa League in favour of a 64-club Champions League, Platini said: "There is a debate to determine what form the European competitions will have between 2015 and 2018.
"We are discussing it, we will make a decision in 2014. There is nothing decided yet."
Although a diluted Champions League may affect the competition’s popularity, there is widespread acceptance at UEFA that the Europa Leagues needs to be radically overhauled if it is to be successful. With this in mind, UEFA is likely to offer a place in the Champions League to both finalists in the competition from 2015.
English clubs view the Europa League as a secondary competition due to crowded fixtures and the fact that ties are played on Thursday evenings.
However, a backdoor route into the most prestigious and lucrative Champions League would increase popularity with supporters and sponsors. It would also mean that up to seven English clubs could find themselves playing in the Champions League.
UEFA executives have been told that all options regarding the competition’s revamp should be considered.
The Europa League was introduced in 2009 to replace the Uefa Cup and has been at the centre of ongoing debate attractiveness since.