Controversial Champions League plan could be scrapped by UEFA

The proposal to reward two teams a place in the Champions League based on their coefficient rather than domestic performance is expected to be torn up at this week’s UEFA congress in Vienna after fresh talks with clubs

The Champions League’s format will change in 2024 despite backlash from some clubs and the majority of supporters. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

The controversial proposal to reward two teams with a place in the Champions League based on their ten-year coefficient could be scrapped following fresh talks between UEFA and the European Clubs Association ahead of the governing body’s annual congress in Vienna this week.

The ECA met in Madrid on Monday to discuss fresh proposals that would see the continent’s premier competition expanded but without two places for clubs who have failed to qualify via the traditional route of domestic performances.

The idea to reward a pair of teams based on historical results had been met with widespread backlash from the Premier League, despite the proposal likely to have often rewarded the club that finished fifth in the table, and supporters groups who considered it a step akin to forming a European Super League.

If the idea was to exist this season, one from Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United would stand to gain a spot despite finishing outside of the top four.

UEFA, who came up with the proposal, have now understood the complaints around it being a step towards a Super League and are aiming to strike a deal with the powerful group that represents the clubs. There is potential for two clubs to be rewarded with a place based on other criteria rather than coefficients.

The Champions League’s structure is still going to change from 2024 with between two and four additional group stage games as the competition goes from 32 teams to 36. That has led to domestic concerns around fixture congestion and one mooted solution would be to scrap playing EFL Cup semi-finals over two legs.

There are also suggestions that two-legged semi-finals will be no more in the Champions League with the final four instead convening in a host city similar to the latter stages of the covid-19 interrupted campaign two seasons ago.



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Nasser al-Khelaifi, the ECA chairman and the president of Paris Saint-Germain, said: “The range of decisions currently being considered by ECA and other major stakeholders will shape European club football competitions for years to come.

“As an organisation that represents over 240 clubs of Europe — clubs of all sizes and locations, big and small — the ECA has a unique perspective and leadership position. In all our decisions, ECA acts in the best collective interests of European football and our community.”

In a statement, the ECA added: “As these important proposals near final agreement to be approved at Uefa’s executive committee, the ECA is committed to working with Uefa to conclude the best possible outcomes for European club football.”

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