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Clubs push for promotion-relegation in European competitions

FC Barcelona v Manchester United - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: Second Leg

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 16: Lionel Messi of Barcelona runs with the ball while under pressure from Phil Jones of Manchester United during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between FC Barcelona and Manchester United at Camp Nou on April 16, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

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LONDON (AP) The head of the European Club Association says the existing Champions League format should be overhauled to introduce promotion and relegation.

ECA chairman Andrea Agnelli, who runs Juventus, wrote in a letter to the organization’s 232 clubs that “European matches with higher sporting quality and a more competitive environment at all levels” are desired.

That points to more games between elite clubs in a formatted Champions League after 2024 rather than less attractive games that can feature in the group stage.

Agnelli wrote “a pyramidal Pan European League System with continuity and opportunity to grow from within enhancement of mobility and dynamism across the system through carefully applied promotion and relegation.”

While stressing that entry to competitions should be on “sporting meritocracy, not historical privilege,” Agnelli says European competitions should be “open to all - keeping the dream alive.”

Agnelli has told his members to boycott a meeting being staged by the European Leagues group in Madrid on May 6-7.

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