All 20 Premier League clubs reject wholesale changes to Champions League 7 months ago

All 20 Premier League clubs reject wholesale changes to Champions League

A unanimous decision.

All 20 Premier League clubs have voted against a proposal that would have seen the Champions League altered drastically and hugely affected the Premier League season.

The chairman of each Premier League side met in central London to discuss potential changes to the European competition being proposed by UEFA and the European Club Association (ECA).

Central to those changes was the idea of reformatting the Champions League so that it would contain four groups of eight, rather than the current eight groups of four.

This would have extended the number of group matches from six to 14, adding further fixtures to an already stacked football calendar for Premier League sides.

Among other proposals floated was the ECA's plan to change the qualification structure for the Champions League, moving away from traditionally qualification and basing it on historical success; a system that would have made the competition more a closed shop.

The 20 representatives of Premier League sides released a statement after the meeting to state their opposition to the changes to the group stage.

"All clubs unanimously agreed it is inappropriate for European football bodies to create plans that would alter the structures, calendar and competitiveness of the domestic game and will work together to protect the Premier League," it read.

"In England, football plays an important role in our culture and everyday life. Millions of fans attend matches across the country, with allegiances and local rivalries often passed down through generations. We have a fantastic combination of competitive football and committed fans that we will vigorously defend.

"The structures of domestic football are determined by leagues and their respective national associations. We will now work with the FA and other leagues to ensure that European football bodies understand the importance of this, and their obligation to maintain the health and sustainability of domestic league football."