PREMIER LEAGUE clubs are fighting a European pincer movement that could lead to the extinction of the League Cup.
The Prem’s Big Six appear to be united against plans hatched by the European Clubs Association to revamp club competition from 2024.
Under the latest Uefa proposals, teams in the Champions League would play 14 games in the group phase and 21 to win the competition.
With the Prem determined to keep 20 teams and the ECA having backed away from demanding weekend dates for the new competition, the only way English teams could play those games would be by withdrawing from the Carabao Cup or fielding youth teams.
The clubs fear that would spell the end for the 59-year competition.
Uefa’s new draft plans have been designed to buy off the reservations of major European clubs in Spain, Germany, Italy and France and also get the smaller nations on board.
CUP COULD BECOME EXTINCT
European chiefs envisage 128 teams taking part across three European competitions – Champions League, Europa League and a third-tier European competition – with the current total of 407 matches increased to 647.
While the 20 Prem clubs rejected the ECA’s initial proposals which would have ring-fenced a European elite, a stance backed by 18 of the 20 clubs in La Liga, all of Serie A and the Bundesliga and all but Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1, the new plans will have wider appeal.
It is understood there was continued opposition from the Prem members of the ECA — the Big Six plus Newcastle, Everton and Leicester — to the ideas outlined at a recent meeting in London.
Uefa and the ECA are seeking to move forward to a concrete proposal by November.
Next month’s ECA general assembly meeting could see the majority of European clubs come on board but the Prem sides are ready to fight.
A Prem insider told SunSport: “This is a sign the biggest clubs recognise the importance of English football as a whole.
“They are not fighting for themselves — they would potentially earn more money from Europe.
“But they know it would damage the Premier League, the EFL, even the National League. It is about helping to keep the whole game alive.”