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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

UEFA seals deal with top European leagues to avoid UCL clashes

Aleksander Ceferin has said he is looking forward to working closely with European Leagues.

UEFA has sealed a working agreement with Europe's top leagues in order to avoid clashes between domestic and Champions League games.

In June, Lars-Christer Olsson, the chairman of the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL), said the deal was being finalised and would be ratified in September.

European football's governing body has confirmed that the leagues group will get seats on its decision-making bodies, including voting rights on the executive committee.

A UEFA statement issued after an executive committee meeting said: "A memorandum of understanding with the EPFL was approved."

The EPFL will nominate a representative to sit on the executive committee, whose appointment will then be ratified at the UEFA congress in Slovakia next year.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said: "I am pleased that we have taken an important step by including the EPFL in our decision-making processes.

"They are an important stakeholder in European football, and I am looking forward to working more closely with them in the future."

The previous deal ended in March amid leagues criticising UEFA about the way it consulted before making changes to the 2018-21 Champions League seasons that favoured clubs in Europe's four wealthiest and strongest footballing countries.

Access to the lucrative 32-team group stage for Europe's mid-ranked leagues was squeezed by UEFA guaranteeing four places to each of Spain, Germany, England and Italy.

Having made peace with UEFA, European leagues will not schedule midweek games head-to-head with the Champions League from this season onwards.

The new deal runs until May 2022.

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