UEFA reveal Champions League qualification proposal
As confirmed by the Times on Thursday, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has today released some new proposals to change the current Champions League format.
In one eye-catching proposal, UEFA are considering guaranteeing future qualification for teams who reach the quarter-finals.
Put simply, every club in the quarter-finals would be guaranteed a spot in the following season’s Champions League.
Protecting teams ‘like Ajax & Leicester’
Ceferin has explained that the reasoning behind this possible change to the UCL is to help protect teams like Ajax and Leicester:
We would like to protect teams like Ajax this year, or Monaco and Leicester City before.
Ajax played the semi-finals this year and now they will have to sell all their players because they don’t know if they will qualify for the Champions League next year.
I don’t think we should protect too many clubs, because then it’s too closed, but I think we have to protect some clubs. One idea is that those clubs who succeed at a certain stage of the competition can compete the following year too.
But it is a discussion only. We have a meeting on September 11 to debate it with leagues and clubs.
Ceferin says the idea of “protecting” teams who reach the latter stages of the #UCL by ensuring they qualify for the following season’s tournament is among the reforms being considered for the competition https://t.co/U9VqNsrn3b
— Times Sport (@TimesSport) July 4, 2019
Four groups, eight teams
Another possible change to the Champions League is to switch the format to four groups of eight teams, rather than the current framework of eight groups of four teams.
That suggestion is being pushed by the European Clubs’ Association.
The chairman of the ECA is Juventus president Andrea Agnelli.
English members of the group include Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham, Everton, Leicester and Newcastle.
Champions of Champions
Another idea being floated around UEFA is the idea of a ‘Champions of Champions’ match.
The thought is to have a match between the winner of Euro 2020 and the winner of the 2019 Copa America.
Other key points
The Times also detailed two other talking points swirling around UEFA.
There’s a consideration to swell the Champions League from 32 clubs to 40 or 48, in groups of five or six instead of four teams.
Lastly, the notion of a European Super League has been dashed by Ceferin. He said: “A Super League will never happen while I’m here.”