June 11, 2019 / 1:12 PM / 2 months ago

Fifteen Serie A clubs against proposed Champions League reform

(Reuters) - Fifteen of Serie A’s 20 clubs have voted against a proposal to create a semi-closed Champions League from 2024 onwards.

In a statement seen by Reuters, the clubs backed a resolution which said that qualification for UEFA club competitions such as the Champions League should be based exclusively on performances in domestic leagues, as happens at present.

Juventus were the only club to vote against the resolution while Inter Milan, AC Milan, AS Roma and Fiorentina all abstained.

The European Club Association (ECA), which represents the region’s most powerful clubs, and UEFA have proposed creating a three-tier pan European league with promotion and relegation between divisions, according to league officials who have seen it.

The top tier would be the new version of the Champions League, but 24 of the 32 teams would keep their places for the following season, breaking the tradition that qualification is achieved through domestic competition.

The ECA, whose chairman Andrea Agnelli is Juventus president, says it wants to help clubs outside the biggest five leagues by giving them more regular European matches.

England’s Premier League, Germany’s Bundesliga and France’s Ligue 1 have already said they oppose the proposal. However, some clubs from outside Europe’s biggest leagues, such as Ajax Amsterdam, Legia Warsaw and HJK Helsinki are in favour.

“Any semi-closed model will endanger the value of national competitions,” the Serie A clubs said in the resolution.

“We also express our concerns about the economic and competitive impact on Serie A of this UEFA reform,” they said.

“We truly hope that UEFA will take our observations into consideration and will work together with the European Leagues to implement a different model that will preserve the sustainability of both national championships and European competitions.”

(This story has been refiled to remove erroneous ‘to’ from headline)

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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