By Noel Whelan

17th Mar, 2021 | 1:15pm

Whelan backs 'shameless' Kinnear as Leeds face Uefa threat

The Champions League does not need to be reformed and a restructuring would not be in the interests of Leeds United.

That is according to ex-Leeds striker and boyhood fan Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after United chief executive Angus Kinnear’s vehement criticism of Uefa plans to reform their flagship club competition.

He is unhappy at plans to allocate places in an expanded 36-team competition to the most historically successful European teams.

Quoted in Daily Mail, he wrote: “Qualification for Europe will no longer be only based on in-season merit, but on a coefficient of clubs’ historic performance in Europe.

“This is shamelessly engineered to perpetuate the inclusion of clubs who have long-term European success and whom Uefa deem will have greater commercial value at the expense of emerging clubs.”

Whelan too is opposed to the restructuring of the competition, claiming that the Champions League product is in a good state and in no need of reform.

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“There’s no need to change the format of the Champions League,” he told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.

“It’s been in a really healthy position in recent years and I think we’re very lucky to have such a strong competition and for Premier League teams to play a part in it.

“We don’t need to tinker around with it. It doesn’t need to be improved in any way right now.”

Champions League reform is widely expected to make it harder for ambitious teams like Leeds to break into Europe’s elite.

Nevertheless, finance expert Kieran Maguire told Football Insider on Sunday that he expects Leeds United owner Andre Radrizzani to continue to pump money into the club.

In other news, a top pundit claims Raphinha is facing Leeds United axe after what he’s seen.