SCOTTISH football clubs have been handed a boost after the English Premier League reaffirmed their opposition to proposals to radically alter European competition.

Plans for the revamp, led by Juventus and European Club Association (ECA) chairman Andrea Agnelli, would see UEFA’s current club competitions replaced by a three-tier structure that incorporates promotion and relegation from 2024.

That has sparked concern among top Scottish clubs as places in four provisional groups of eight teams in the Champions League would be by invitation only, limiting the number of slots available via domestic competition.

Current Scottish champions Celtic already have to play four qualifying rounds just to make the group stages of the Champions League next season, and manager Neil Lennon said at his unveiling as permanent boss last Friday that chief executive Peter Lawwell was ready to do everything he could to block Agnelli’s proposals.

“Peter is not going to let that happen, put it that way,” Lennon said. “He is going to be fighting for what is best for us and for the Scottish game as well.”

The stance taken by the Premier League yesterday – the second time they have gone on record against the proposals - is seen as a major blow to Agnelli’s plans.

Their statement read: “The Premier League and our clubs today unanimously reaffirmed our strong opposition to the proposed reform of UEFA club competitions from 2024, which would alter the structure, calendar and competitiveness of league football.

“We believe the proposals - particularly the suggested format and qualification criteria - would be detrimental to domestic leagues across the continent.

“There was unanimous agreement that the domestic game should continue to be the priority for professional clubs, and any changes to the football calendar must respect the requirements of domestic competitions.

“Critically, qualification for the Champions League and the Europa League must continue to depend on current domestic performance.”