Chelsea’s head coach 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.
The Blues have been mightily impressive since the German took charge at Stamford Bridge, succeeding club legend Frank Lampard, and beat Porto over two legs to earn their place in the final four of the competition.
Last week, Chelsea came under incredible scrutiny from their supporters, along with the Premier League’s other ‘Big Six’, after announcing their plans to become a founding member of a European Super League.
The backlash and protests from the fan fallout commenced as UEFA signed off a new format for the Champions League to begin from the 2024/25 campaign.
And the former Paris Saint-Germain boss believes the Super League drama distracted the game from these changes and puts more pressure on squads by introducing more matches across the season.
“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, it’s very hard for me to be excited at all.
“All these discussions about a 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.
He also moaned that players and coaches taking part in the competition were left in the dark over the changes to the format.
“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.
“No, I’m not happy about these competitions, not at all. But I was not involved.”
The adaptations to Europe’s biggest club tournament will be introduced from 2024, with one of the biggest changes seeing the number of participants rise from 32 to 36 teams.
Instead of having six group matches in a group stage with three other teams, group sizes will be enhanced into a single league stage including all participating teams.
Every club will now play a minimum of 10 league stage games against 10 different opponents; five home games, five away.
The top eight clubs from the league stage will enter the knockout phase, while the teams finishing in ninth to 24th place will compete in a two-legged play-off to secure their path to the last 16 of the competition.