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Europa League round of 16 draw

Europa League
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By ESPN Staff

English pair oppose Platini plan

Liverpool and Manchester United have formally declared their opposition to UEFA president Michel Platini's plans for domestic cup winners to qualify for the Champions League.

The English clubs were the most outspoken opponents to the proposals among the 102 members of the European Club Forum who met in Nyon, Switzerland, on Tuesday.

There was a general acceptance of Platini's proposals to secure more places in the group stages of the competition for champions of the smaller leagues in Europe, but opinion was divided over his plan for cup winners.

UEFA communications director William Gaillard said: 'The most opposed to those proposals were Liverpool and Manchester United - they do not want to see a change to the format at all.

'Across the top seven countries however opinion was mixed. The Italians are strongly in favour because they want to revamp their cup competition, the Spanish and the French said it should be up to their FAs to decide, while the Germans were split among themselves.

'The clubs from the smaller countries were generally in agreement.'

The board of the forum will now decide whether to suggest counter-proposals to UEFA, who will decide on any changes at an executive committee meeting in November.

Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon is a member of the forum's board but he would not take such a strong position as the other two English clubs.