Champions League revamp a 'scandal' for Ligue 1 clubs - union chief

French clubs are unhappy with changes to the Champions League format that will favour higher-ranked leagues, according to the head of a union representing Ligue 1 teams.

UEFA announced last week that the top four leagues would each be guaranteed four places starting from the 2018-19 season.

Ligue 1 is currently ranked joint-fifth best league in UEFA's country coefficient table and Bernard Caiazzo, president of the Premiere Ligue union, has voiced his displeasure that major clubs from La Liga, the Bundesliga, the Premier League and Serie A will have an unfair advantage.

"In the way it was done, it's a scandal," Caiazzo, who is also a board member at Saint-Etienne, told L'Equipe. "There's currently a power vacuum at UEFA and the ECA (European Club Association) and it's been taken advantage of to impose this reform with the help of UEFA apparatchiks.

"In France, nobody was aware of it... why did [Lyon president] Jean-Michel Aulas, who's part of the executive office of the ECA, not forewarn anyone in the league? It feels like a scam.

"It's the first step towards a closed European league -- a way of allowing rich clubs to earn even more money."

At present the third-placed French club must play two qualifying rounds and could face a club from a top-four league in the final qualifying round. Under the new rules, only one qualifying round would have to be negotiated and an easier tie would be presented.

Aulas told L'Equipe that the decision is "excellent" for French football as it means that there is a better chance that three Ligue 1 teams, rather than two, would make it through to the group stage.

Bordeaux president Jean-Louis Triaud also told L'Equipe that it would be a positive thing if it gave the third-placed French team a better chance to regularly make the Champions League.

He said he found it "abnormal" that a previous reform to the system, backed by ex-UEFA president Michel Platini, had offered more group stage places to teams from "small nations."