'Is no one thinking about the players?!' - Gundogan says Champions League reform is just 'lesser of two evils' alongside Super League

Getty Images

Ilkay Gundogan has expressed his belief that the new Champions League format is "just the lesser of the two evils in comparison to the Super League", while asking the question: "is no one thinking about us players?".

This week's football headlines have been dominated by the proposed formation of a new Super League competition containing 12 of the richest clubs in European football, which has been universally condemned by fans and experts alike.

UEFA snuck in their announcement of a fresh Champions League structure amid the chaos, which Gundogan believes has the potential to be almost as detrimental to players as the controversial breakaway plans.

What's been said?

The Manchester City midfielder wrote on Twitter: "With all the Super League stuff going on... can we please also speak about the new Champions League format?

"More and more and more games, is no one thinking about us players?

"The new UCL format is just the lesser of the two evils in comparison to the Super League..."

Gundogan added: "The UCL format right now works great and that is why it's the most popular club competition in the world - for us players and for the fans."

What changes have been made to the Champions League?

UEFA announced on Monday that Europe's Premier League competition will be expanding from 32 teams to 36, with the new format coming into effect in 2024.

The group stage will be replaced by a single league including all participating clubs, with the top eight automatically qualifying for the knockout stages.

The teams that finish between ninth and 24th will contest two-legged play-offs for the remaining last 16 spots, with the competition following the current design for the latter stages.

France have also been handed an extra qualifying spot, meaning the top five teams in Ligue 1 will now be granted entry to Champions League on an annual basis.

Article continues below

What is the state of the Super League?

Twelve teams were originally signed up to the Super League, including Manchester City, who were joined in representing the Premier League alongside Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham.

However, all six clubs have withdrawn following the fierce backlash in the media, along with Inter and Atletico Madrid, leaving only Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus and AC Milan still left involved in the project.

Further reading