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CELTIC GET EURO BOOST

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CELTIC have been assured that proposed Champions League changes will not prevent them from participating in the top event.

The European Club Association, led by Juventus president Andrea Agnelli, has been calling for a revamp of the tournament from 2024 onwards.

Those proposals have led to fears of a closed-shop so-called ‘Super League’, with former Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu revealing he had signed his club up before departing the supremo’s post at the Spanish giants.

Any such format would likely exclude teams from Europe’s less fashionable leagues, meaning Celtic and, for instance, Ajax from Holland and Club Brugge from Belgium being denied access to compete.

But UEFA chief Aleksander Ceferin assures there will be no closed shop, blaming Real Madrid’s president Fiorentino Perez for stirring things up.
The Euro boss told 24ur: “This has been Florentino Perez’s dream for the last 30 years, when I wasn’t even in football.

“The two main candidates for the presidency of Barcelona have publicly spoken out against the Super League.

“Bayern Munich, Juventus and the English clubs have spoken out against it.

“It’s an idea, a wish, of those who don’t care about the rest of football. Those who care about today’s football, but not tomorrow’s.

“In any case, the format will remain the same until 2024. That’s when the rights have been sold up to.

“We are talking about not playing at the weekend because we want to keep the value of national leagues. But we are talking about a slightly different, more interesting system that includes absolutely everyone.

“The dream of playing in the Champions League will be as realistic as it is now.”

The Hoops have struggled on the European platform in recent seasons and have failed to reach the group stages of the Champions League in the past two seasons.

However, it is still an arena where the club have enjoyed some of their most memorable occasions, topped, of course, by the European Cup triumph over Inter Milan in Lisbon on May 25 1967 when they became the first British club to conquer Europe.

 
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