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‘Champions League reform a scandal'

Changes to the format of the Champions League are a "scandal" and could spark a revolt among small and mid-size leagues, the head of the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) said Thursday.

"Why is Uefa capitulating to the big clubs? It's a scandal," Lars-Christer Olsson, a Swede who heads the association of 25 European leagues, told the Swedish football league website.

Photo: SEBASTIEN NOGIER. Credit: EPA

The European governing body announced last month that England, Spain, Italy and Germany would each be guaranteed four berths for their clubs in the tournament between 2018 and 2021.

"This has gone far too quickly. Uefa has gone to bed with a limited number of clubs without taking into account the wishes and needs of the other clubs," Olsson said.

He said European leagues could revolt against Uefa if the new reforms were not changed.

"We have a Memorandum of Understanding with Uefa. It could be torn up if the procedure is not revised, and then the conditions for European club competitions could be changed entirely. That's something no one would benefit from."

Olsson, who has been the head of EPFL since March, made his comments two days after Uefa's new boss, Aleksander Ceferin of Slovakia, took up his position.

On Wednesday, Ceferin said there were "pluses and minuses" with the reform but vowed he would look into it.

"Everything can change," he said.

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