The Champions League is close to being expanded by an additional four match days as European leaders near a final agreement on the change.
Changes to Europe’s most prestigious competition have been discussed for years, with ideas like including more teams, playing more games or even completely breaking away from domestic leagues.
According to The Times, this latest plan is to add an extra four games to the competition, but they are yet to decide on how to do so. There could be a restructuring of the group phase or even a brand new round introduced, but nothing has been decided just yet.
The latest changes are expected to be introduced from 2024, giving senior officials plenty of time to figure things out.
One of the biggest issues is how these matchdays would fit into England’s already hectic schedule. There is no space for the additional fixtures, so it is suggested that there could be drastic changes to the Carabao Cup.
Clubs competing in the Champions League may no longer be able to participate in the domestic cup, which could become solely for sides who are not in European competition.
The report claims that initial demand was for ten additional fixtures, but it was soon accepted that that was not physically possible, and all parties appear to have agreed that four could be the way to go, even if it means that cup competitions could duffer.
The Premier League have long been against changes to the Champions League, but they fear that the top sides may be in favour of the alterations as it would provide them with more big games – and more money.
These changes could vary from having eight groups of six teams, to perhaps returning to the previous format of having a second group stage at some point in the competition.
No plans are set in stone just yet, but it appears as though an agreement to change the Champions League format could be close.
For more from Tom Gott, follow him on Twitter!