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UEFA wants to meet with clubs, leagues over Champions League

By GRAHAM DUNBARJune 5, 2019

PARIS (AP) — Europe’s top clubs and leagues have been invited to meet with UEFA after weeks of public barbs about Champions League reforms.

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin has called a Sept. 11 meeting in a letter to European Club Association chairman Andrea Agnelli and European Leagues leader Lars-Christer Olsson.

In the letter seen by The Associated Press, Ceferin says it’s time for a “direct exchange of views between our organizations.”

The leagues have denounced an ECA proposal to let 24 of the 32 Champions League group-stage clubs retain their places year-to-year from 2024. The clubs also want more to create eight-team groups, which would lead to more games.

European Leagues say this would drain interest and commercial value from their member competitions, and widen a wealth gap favoring storied rich clubs.

Ceferin says the reform discussion is “an unprecedented long process” and asks for their cooperation.

The letter was sent one day before the ECA hosts members for an urgent meeting in Malta.

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