The new format of European competitions is likely to force the English game into some major changes from 2024, according to a report.

Arsenal's Brazilian midfielder Marquinhos (C) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Europa League Group A football match between FC Zurich and Arsenal at Arena St. Gallen Stadium on September 8, 2022. (Photo by URS BUCHER/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal’s Brazilian midfielder Marquinhos (C) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Europa League Group A football match between FC Zurich and Arsenal at Arena St. Gallen Stadium on September 8, 2022. (Photo by URS BUCHER/AFP via Getty Images)

ESPN report that English football will almost certainly have to either revamp its cup competitions or reduce the size of the Premier League in order to fit all the new European matches into the season.

The Champions League, Europa League, and Europa Conference League are all being increased from 32 teams to 36, and clubs in the UCL and UEL will play two additional group games.

The new calendar would likely require English football to remove FA Cup replays from the third round onwards, but even that would leave a clash between the early European group games and the League Cup third round.

It’s obviously difficult to move the cup games anywhere else, because they have to be played in order. Any earlier and you don’t allow time for the previous round to be played, any later and the next round has already started.

It’s a headache for English football organisers, and it’s not impossible it leads to the reduction of the size of the Premier League.

Ligue 1 have already decided to cut their league to 18 teams from next season. But this is seen as a last resort for the Premier League.

afc bournemouth v arsenal fc premier league 1 1
BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND: Martin Odegaard of Arsenal interacts with the crowd following the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal FC at Vitality Stadium on August 20, 2022. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

This news comes amid reports that Premier League club executives are considering adding an all-star game to the footballing calendar. Proposals like that seem totally out of touch with the scheduling realities those clubs are facing in the coming years.

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