Premier League clubs oppose Uefa club competition reforms – as Canaries formally return at AGM

Norwich City return to the Premier League following promotion as champions of the Championship Pictu

Norwich City return to the Premier League following promotion as champions of the Championship Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Premier League clubs have announced unanimous opposition to proposed reforms of Uefa’s club competitions at today’s annual general meeting, when Norwich City officially became league shareholders again.

Promoted clubs Norwich, Sheffield United and Aston Villa officially received their share certificates at the AGM, as cancellation of the shares of relegated sides Cardiff City, Fulham and Huddersfield Town were officially ratified.

While that formal business was completed, required under company law, the representatives of the 20 clubs were also able to discuss Uefa's plans for club competitions from 2024.

The proposals being considered reportedly include the potential to play European matches at weekends and an overhaul of the qualification process to move towards relegation and promotion, limiting the chances for new clubs to enter competitions.

National newspaper reports have suggested that teams outside England from within the European Club Association are the driving force behind the changes, due to the huge amount of broadcasting money that Premier League teams are generating.

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This seasons Champions League final saw Liverpool beat Tottenham in the final in Madrid, while the Europa League final also featured two Premier League sides, with Chelsea beating Arsenal in Azerbaijan.

Uefa president Aleksander ?eferin stressed that no decisions have been made following a meeting of the Uefa executive committee and representatives of European League last month, pointing to previous criticism the governing body has received for a lack of consultation

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With similar resistance being shown in Germany ahead of a summit which is due to be held tomorrow and Friday, the Premier League has released a statement to make it clear their clubs oppose the sweeping changes which have been suggested.

"The Premier League and our clubs today unanimously reaffirmed our strong opposition to the proposed reform of UEFA club competitions from 2024, which would alter the structure, calendar and competitiveness of league football," the statement begins.

"We believe the proposals - particularly the suggested format and qualification criteria - would be detrimental to domestic leagues across the continent.

"There was unanimous agreement that the domestic game should continue to be the priority for professional clubs, and any changes to the football calendar must respect the requirements of domestic competitions.

"Critically, qualification for the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League must continue to depend on current domestic performance.

"The clubs have asked the Premier League to now work with UEFA, fans and other stakeholders across Europe, to identify constructive proposals which improve European club competitions without harming domestic football.

"Premier League clubs will represent these views at the European Club Association meeting in Malta on Thursday and Friday."

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