Published: Tue, September 11, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Uefa 'planning third European club competition from 2021'

Uefa 'planning third European club competition from 2021'

UEFA is set to launch a third European club competition from the start of the 2021/22 season, it has been confirmed.

"Following demands by ECA members to increase the overall number of clubs participating in Uefa's club competitions, the preferred option is to develop a third-tier competition of 32 teams", said a statement published by the ECA.

The new competition will bring the overall number of clubs involved in European football to 96.

This means the Europa League's group stage would be reduced from 48 teams to 32, with the new competition and the Champions League all having the same number. Others claim the football calendar is already busy enough.

Speaking to Press Association Sport, its deputy general secretary Alberto Colombo said: "We are not happy about the process at all because this is something that has been prepared and cooked up by UEFA and the ECA without proper engagement".

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European Leagues' board of directors met in Copenhagen last week but it has now called an emergency meeting to discuss UEFA's plan in the Danish capital on September 19 and a counter-proposal is likely.

There is speculation that any new competition could attempt to model the former UEFA Cup Winners' Cup that existed from 1960 to 1999.

With 48 sides now involved in the Europa League group stage, that would likely mean that competition being reduced to 32 teams, with the same number competing in the Champions League group stage and the new competition.

"It is nearly obvious that a third competition will be added. They are just discussions", Ceferin said at the time.

When Lazio beat Mallorca 2-1 at Villa Park in Birmingham, England, in May 1999, the Roman side became the 39th and last winners of the European Cup Winners' Cup before the competition was abolished.

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