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In what could be a huge and interesting change to its format, the UEFA Champions League could soon have 64 teams participating in the main stages of the competition, if president Michel Platini has his way.
The new rules would see the Europa League being scrapped, and the changes would allow seven English and five Scottish teams to enter a preliminary qualifying stage, and could come into effect as early as 2015. The news would be a massive fillip for English sides continuously battling for that fourth and final Champions League spot, and the massive financial reward that comes with it. This would make the Premier League more attractive, and allow teams that are currently playing in the Europa League an opportunity to attract and retain better talent because of the opportunity to compete at the highest level.
There is a debate to determine what form the European competitions will have between 2015 and 2018," Platini told French newspaper Ouest France. "We are discussing it, we will make a decision in 2014. There is nothing decided yet."
Barcelona president and European Club Association Sandro Rosell had earlier said that if the UEFA and the ECA reached an agreement, the Champions League would be extended, and that the ECA could possibly organize its own champions competition.. However, Platini dismissed any possibility of a breakaway European League, saying, "It's a question that is regularly brought up. I can't see how it could work outside the UEFA framework. Who will referee them? In what stadiums will they play?"
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