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Tuesday, 27 August, 2002, 03:15 GMT 04:15 UK
Wenger wants winners only
Arsene Wenger
Wenger: No more than 10 clubs should be involved
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has called for the creation of a "real Champions League".

The Gunners boss wants a new, streamlined version of the competition containing only the winners of Europe's leading domestic leagues.

He said: "I believe we want to go forward and create a European League because that would create real interest for the television companies.

"We mustn't kill domestic leagues and must retain the link between the national leagues and Europe.

"That's why we have to create a European League of nine or 10 clubs, a real Champions League, even if that means getting bigger squads.

"People want to see the best teams against the best teams, and they need to be convinced that's what they're seeing," the Frenchman said.

Uefa announced in July that the second group phase of the Champions League would be scrapped from the 2003-04 season.

The current first phase of 32 teams drawn into eight groups of four clubs will be maintained.

But the second phase involving 16 teams would become a straight two-legged knockout competition with home and away matches.

But Wenger said: "What they are proposing is not the right formula. I believe it is a regressive step."

Wenger's Arsenal side won the Premiership and FA Cup Double last season.

 VOTE RESULTS
Should only champions be allowed to compete?

Yes
 74.82% 

No
 25.18% 

7064 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion
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26 Aug 02 | Eng Prem
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