Thomas Tuchel has become the latest Premier League manager to blast UEFA’s plans for an extended Champions League.
Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have both criticised European football’s governing body’s plans to re-jig the competition from 2024, a move that will see clubs play more matches.
UEFA’s changes to the format were approved last Monday and will see the teams in the competition rise from 32 to 36 from 2024, with the group stage replaced by a single league stage.
The “Swiss system” means the minimum number of games will increase from six to 10 and the prospect of squeezing in more fixtures has infuriated Tuchel, who also argued that Chelsea and Real Madrid deserve to be in the last four of the Champions League despite their role in the ESL.
Thomas Tuchel is not happy about the new Champions League format! 😬 pic.twitter.com/tfsOx5ewzr
— Talk Chelsea (@talkchelsea) April 26, 2021
“I’m not sure if I like it because I can only see more games at the start of it, more games in a schedule that we have,” Chelsea’s manager said.
“It’s very hard for me to be excited at all. All these discussions about Super League made us forget that we have a new format of Champions League very soon. Did they ask any coach about this? I don’t think so. They didn’t ask me. Did they ask any player about it? I don’t think so.
“We have so many new formats with the Nations League, the world championship for clubs coming soon. There’s so much new stuff, so many more games and more teams in the European Championship in the summer. More, more, more games. Not more quality, just more games.
“They push you to play more games and at the same time we have three substitutes in the Premier League and domestic competitions. I’m not happy about these competitions, not at all. But I was not involved.”
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has insisted the 12 clubs who attempted to set up the breakaway European Super League will face sanctions for their actions.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) April 25, 2021
UEFA had threatened sanctions against the clubs involved in the ESL proposals, including potentially throwing them out of the Champions League.
But Tuchel insisted the players and coaches of Chelsea and Madrid, who were one of the leading drivers of the plan, had earned the right to remain in the competition.