UEFA reportedly aim to fend off the idea of a ‘European Super League’ by proposing a new-look Champions League which could feature all of the Premier League’s ‘big six’ clubs.
Speculation the continent’s giant teams could form a breakaway division of their own has grown in recent years.
The prospect of the world’s most-followed clubs facing each other week in, week out may generate huge revenue through television deals and sponsorship.
Barcelona’s outgoing president Josep Maria Bartomeu escalated speculation as he claimed the Catalans had accepted the offer of joining a Super League format during his resignation from the Nou Camp in October.
In a bid to ward off a breakaway division, however, UEFA are working with the European Club Association – led by Juventus president Andrea Agnelli – to find a format acceptable to giant clubs.
Meanwhile, other Premier League clubs would still need to finish in the top four to enter the Champions League.
UEFA’s proposed format would include 36 teams with each side playing 10 matches against seeded opponents of a similar strength.
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The increased number of fixtures would help satisfy the desire of clubs to earn more through television rights.
In news which will come as a boost to the Premier League’s big six, UEFA may allow six teams from England to enter the new-look Champions League.
The top four teams in England, Spain, Italy and Germany would be guaranteed a spot, while two places would be available to teams with the highest coefficient score.
The coefficient is calculated by performance in UEFA competitions over the past five seasons – and all of the ‘big six’ clubs are currently rated in the top 15 sides on the continent.
This presents all of the Premier League’s biggest sides a chance to qualify, but will come as a huge blow to clubs such as Leicester and Wolves – who find themselves far down in the coefficient rankings as they have not consistently played European football in recent seasons.
Elsewhere, the FA Cup winners would enter the Europa League and the Carabao Cup would enter the newly-founded third tier: the Europa Conference League.
UEFA hope the drastic format changes are passed as its 55 member associations meet at a congress in April 2021.
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