The G14 group, representing Europe’s most powerful clubs, will not back Uefa president Michel Platini’s plan to award a Champions League place to domestic cup winners.
“We’re opposed to giving cup winners a place in the Champions League,” said G14’s general manager Thomas Kurth.
“We’re very concerned about the quality of the competition and the damage this could cause,” added Kurth.
If Platini’s proposals were implemented, England, Spain and Italy would no longer be guaranteed four places in the Champions League. Instead, the domestic cup winners would be entered into a separate qualifying competition. At present each country is guaranteed two automatic places in the Champions League group stage while the clubs finishing 3rd and 4th in the domestic leagues enter into the final qualifying round of the competition.
Platini’s proposals would give 16 cup winners a separate qualifying route into the Champions League producing four automatic places in the lucrative group stages.
The proposed shake-up was discussed by UEFA’s Professional Football Strategy Council last month, but the move has not proved popular and following opposition from the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL), Platini deferred the final vote by UEFA’s executive by one month.
The EPFL, which represents leagues such as the English Premier League, Spain’s La Liga and Italy’s Serie A, was given until the end of October to come up with alternative proposals.
Meanwhile the G14, which represents 18 of Europe’s top clubs intends to expand its membership to around 50 by the end of the year.
The move is designed to ensure the G14 is not perceived as elitist as both Fifa and Uefa have failed to speak with the group on the grounds that it does not repersent the majority of clubs in Europe.
“We understand UEFA’s concerns and we accept that we may have not been representative of all clubs, but we have now decided to make this change and expand,” said Kurth told Reuters.
“If this is given a positive response by UEFA, then we hope this could be the first step in solving the problems we have.”