Since the past few months, there have been constant talks on bringing about changes in the Champions League with an aim to expand it. Many managers have opposed the idea, with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola joining the fray recently.
Pep Guardiola believes that a 400-500-day year would be required for Champions League expansion while stating that the Premier League fixtures are already too hectic. Guardiola stated that it would only be possible to expand the ambit of the Champions League if the number of days in a year was increased.
Manchester City will play at the Bramall Lane on January 21, 2020, marking their eighth game in a span of 24 days. Stating the hectic schedule of his team, Pep Guardiola also advocated the complete abolition of English Football League (EFL) Cup. He stated that these small competitions should be abolished completely, while also asserting that fewer competitions and fewer games would mean more quality in football. He also cited the examples of Germany and Spain stating that these two nations have lesser competitions and lesser games, which helps in maintaining the physicality of the players. He also attributed the injuries sustained by Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford to the demanding fixtures in England.
There have been some proposals that would expand the number of UEFA Champions League group stage matches. Juventus President Andrea Agnelli had proposed four groups of eight clubs in the initial stage of the Champions League and 21 matches to win the competition, insisting that everyone wants more games. Plans to include as many as 96 teams and bring in a promotion and relegation system were shelved recently, but discussions are still ongoing as to how to revamp the Champions League from 2024-25 onward.
Earlier, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard had also expressed vehement opposition to Champions League reforms which he claims will lead to player burnout. Reportedly, Lampard told a meeting of European club leaders that an increase in group games would be a serious mistake and that the current status quo should be left alone.