Ilkay Gundogan has criticised UEFA for the new Champions League format – claiming it will put an even greater physical burden on players.
After seeing the proposed European Super League breakaway collapse, UEFA announced a revamp of the Champions League, to come into effect in 2024.
The new format will see teams play 10 games in the opening stage -four more than they currently play – which Gundogan claimed is unfair on players who are already suffering from fixture overload.
Speaking on his official Twitter account, Gundogan said: “With all the Super League stuff going on can we please also speak about the new Champions League format?
“More and more and more games, is no-one thinking about us players? The new UCL format is just the lesser of the two evils in comparison to the Super League.
“The UCL format right now works great and that is why it’s the most popular club competition in the world – for us players and for the
Gundogan’s words received a largely positive response on social media, with Gary Neville retweeting the statement and a number of supporters expressing their agreement with the sentiment.
It remains to be seen if we see any lobbying against UEFA’s proposal in the same way we did during the extraordinary backlash against the plans for a European Super League.
But there is evidence that player power can make a massive difference, with the amount of high-profile figures who opposed the Super League believed to have been a big factor in the English clubs withdrawing.
And it will be intriguing to see if any of Gundogan’s teammates or other Premier League stars join him in condemning the Champions League reform.