European giants 'plotting 96-team Champions League'- including six English sides

Top European sides are holding discussions over an extraordinary shake-up of the Champions League which would see the number of teams taking part increase three-fold from 32 to 96.

The new model would comprise of 16 divisions with six teams in each one, with the top two sides in each group progressing to a last-32 knockout phase.

The plan would mean there could be up to six English sides taking part in the competition, with games taking place midweek.

However according to the Sun English sides oppose the idea because it would mean the abolition of the League Cup, with fixtures clashing with those in the Champions League.

The Champions League is the most prestigious club competition in football

The initial proposal for a change to the format of the tournament suggested eight groups of four teams , but in this shocking development it appears there could be scope for even more sides taking part from all around the continent.

It would come as a boost to the likes of Celtic, who would not need to go through a qualifying round to progress into the main draw.

The Scottish champions were knocked out of the competition by Romanian side CFR Cluj in the third qualifying round earlier this month, but this type of fixture would not take place if, indeed, the number of teams increases so dramatically.

It is thought directors of UEFA will discuss this proposal amongst other options at a meeting in Geneva next month.

A Jurgen Klopp-led Liverpool won the famous trophy last season

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It remains to be seen whether the Europa League will also undergo a transformation, while there has also even been talk of a completely new third European competition being introduced too.

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The European Cup has been in existence since 1955, with only 16 sides taking part in its first season, and became the Champions League in 1992.

The draw for this season’s group stages took place in Monaco on Thursday, with Liverpool , Manchester City , Chelsea and Tottenham representing England.


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