JURGEN KLOPP is set to be ignored as Premier League clubs embrace plans to extend the Champions League.
As SunSport reported earlier this month, support is growing among Europe’s elite clubs for a revised format involving more games from 2024.
Liverpool boss Klopp slammed the plans after his side’s 2-0 win over Watford in the Premier League on Saturday.
The straight-talking German, who tasted Champions League glory last season, branded the proposals “absolute b******s”.
But as SunSport has previously revealed, Liverpool — along with other members of the Big Six — have been part of extensive negotiations led by Uefa and the European Club Association.
And this should lead to clubs agreeing to a redesigned competition.
The Prem six were determined not to accept initial plans, drafted by Juventus President Andrea Agnelli.
This would have seen 12 games in the initial phase and a ring-fenced structure involving promotion and relegation for the initial elite.
But clubs from across Europe were equally adamant Agnelli’s vision would not fly. Now, though, consensus has been reached over the format meaning ten games in the first phase.
There are two models currently being discussed.
The first is the so-called “Swiss system”, based on a competition first designed for a chess tournament in Zurich in 1895.
That would see 32 teams in one league, but in a series of seeded bands and playing just ten opponents from different seeding groups.
The top eight teams in the table after ten games would automatically go to the knockout stage, with the sides ranked 9-24 playing off to join them.
It is envisaged that the top eight would also automatically qualify for the next season’s competition.
Although there might be a cap of three guaranteed spots per country to still allow clubs to qualify through their domestic league.
The other option under consideration is an extension to 36 teams in the group phase — allowing more nations to take part — with the teams split into six groups of six.
The top two in each group would go through, with either a play-off system or the best third place teams determining the final four slots.
Whatever the precise shape of the plans, it will require eight European games before Christmas and minimum 17 games to win the competition — four more than now.
That creates a genuine threat to the long-term future of the League Cup as England will be the only one of the Big Five nations with a second domestic cup from next season.
It could also spell the end of FA Cup replays — already scrapped after the fourth-round stage — to free up more space in the fixtures calendar.
Discussions will be ramped up in the New Year with an expectation that a final proposal can be voted on at the annual congress of Uefa’s member nations in Amsterdam in early March.