ATHENS Michael van Praag will reopen negotiations over the format for the Champions League if he is elected UEFA president on Wednesday, saying a breakaway league would take place "over my dead body".
The Dutch football boss said he helped avert a Super League during recent talks which ended with controversial changes made to the Champions League, UEFA's flagship competition, in favour of the big clubs.
Van Praag faces his Slovenia counterpart Aleksander Ceferin in Wednesday's election to find a replacement Michel Platini, banned for four years for ethics violations, as head of European soccer's governing body.
Ceferin has collected more public declarations of support although Van Praag has refused to give up.
UEFA last month opened up more places to teams from Europe's biggest four leagues -- Spain, England, Germany and Italy - in the lucrative group stage of the Champions League and cut those allocated to the rest.
The announcement followed a deal between UEFA and the European Clubs' Association (ECA), which represents more than 200 clubs from around Europe.
Van Praag, who said he was part of early negotiations but not the final deal, said the domestic leagues and national football associations had been sidelined from the talks but would be welcomed if they were re-opened under his leadership.
"I can tell you that if I am elected I will reopen negotiations but with the leagues and associations around the table as well," he told reporters.
"I'm not satisfied with the procedure... I'm unhappy because we find out now that not all stakeholders have been included."
Van Praag said it was wrong to point the finger at UEFA and that the ECA was not run democratically.
"In the ECA, there are clubs with eight votes, 10 votes, others have three votes, and I know that on the board of the ECA, the big clubs are always in the majority so the mid-size and small clubs never have a chance," he said.
"That is not democratic, that is not how it should be in 2016, so stop pointing at UEFA where distribution is concerned."
Van Praag is a member of UEFA's executive committee but said that he was not present when the final decision was made and had managed to dissuade ECA chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge from the idea of a Super League.
"I'm not one of the people behind the deal," he said. "What I did is make sure we did not have a Super League, by going twice to Mr Rummenigge and talking some sense into him.
"(I told him) that solidarity is the most important thing that counts in UEFA and that Super League (will be formed) over my dead body."
(Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Pritha Sarkar)