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Clubs discuss breakaway after Champions League changes


By Nikolaj and Skydsgaard

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - A group of leading clubs from counties including Denmark, Scotland and the Netherlands are in talks to create a new trans-European soccer league in response to recent proposals to change the format of the Champions League.

In August UEFA announced a series of changes to the Champions League from 2018, including guaranteeing a place for the top four clubs in the four top-ranked associations to leave only 16 spots for the rest of the continent.

FC Copennhagen, the current Danish league leaders, confirmed to Reuters on Thursday that talks about the formation of a new league were ongoing.

"Yes, it's correct. If we don't act now, we will see the biggest clubs grow bigger and stronger, while clubs like ours will have increasingly difficult terms," Copenhagen's managing director Anders Horsholt told local newspaper BT.

Horsholt suggested that teams playing in the new league might have to drop out of their domestic leagues.

BT said leading clubs from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium and Scotland - some of the countries most likely to suffer under the new Champions League plans - were participating in the talks.

Last week the organisation representing Europe's domestic soccer leagues (EPFL) refused to accept UEFA's proposed changes and said such measures could lead to a private and closed league.

(Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard, editing by Mitch Phillips)

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