Football: Celtic lead the way in drive for new European contest

Football: Celtic lead the way in drive for new European contest

CELTIC are at the forefront of organising the new third European competition, Rapid Vienna director Raphael Landthaler has revealed Uefa are set to give the green light to a third European trophy, which would reduce the number of teams in the Europa League.

The idea is been driven by the European Club Association and would certainly offer up more opportunities for Scottish football to reach the Group Stages of all competitions.

And now Rapid director and ECA member Landthaler has revealed which clubs are driving the idea.

He said: “We have another meeting to confirm the plan on Tuesday.

“I am in the taskforce charged with delivering the plan, alongside Celtic, Ajax and HJK Helsinki.

“The model will have all three competitions having 32 teams in their Group Stages.

“Up to 20 national champions will be guaranteed a place in one of the Group Stages.

“Every nation in Europe will be represented in all three competitions – the top nations won’t get any more places.

“That’s attractive for countries like Austria, Scotland or the Netherlands.

“For example, this year AC Milan could have been in the Group Stages of the new competition.

“Presuming Austria does not regress in the coefficients, we would have a team in the Group Stages of all three competitions by 2020.

“Uefa will guarantee the flow of money throughout all three competitions – the new tournament will have the same money as the Europa League.

“It’s provisionally called EL 2, but Challenge League is another name for it too.”

It will be the first time since the Intertoto Cup was disbanded in 2008 that Uefa will have three club competitions on the go.

Celtic chief Peter Lawwell earlier this year called for the Europa League to be expanded and the Hoops now seem to be behind the move for an extra competition.

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