Premier League clubs are seeking ‘adjustments’ to UEFA’s plans to overhaul the Champions League, with clubs outside of the ‘top six’ against plans to expand the competition and provide places based on historical performance.
UEFA have discussed plans to overhaul their leading club competition amid the ongoing threat of a breakaway league amongst Europe’s biggest clubs, the latest proposals including wildcard entrants based on coefficient rankings.
Under the proposals, the tournament would be expanded from 32 to 36 teams, with four additional places handed out to teams based on their coefficient ranking, a system which judges sides based on historical performance in European competition over a five-year period.
Any side who is handed a wildcard entry will have had to have qualified domestically for either the Europa League or Europa Conference League which will begin next year, though the consensus is the proposals are designed to save wealthy sides in the potential event of a poor season.
The proposals would also include a larger number of games played throughout each month of the season, plans which the Telegraph are reporting have been met with opposition from non-top six Premier League clubs.
Shareholders for all 20 clubs spoke this week and the plans were revealed in detail and an agreement was found to challenge UEFA on several points of the new plans.
Premier League clubs discussed the potential impact on the League Cup which will come under threat following an increase in Champions League group stage games, alongside the proposal for wildcard entrants and potential impact on domestic broadcasting revenue with European fixtures played throughout each month of the season.
There is, however, a consensus amongst the 14 clubs outside of the Premier League’s top six that there is little chance of making ‘meaningful change’ with UEFA president, Aleksander Ceferin, under pressure to find a model that appeases the demands of the continent’s wealthiest clubs and ends the threat of a potential breakaway competition.
Under the plans, the two highest-ranked clubs by coefficient who fail to qualify for the Champions League – but qualify for either the Europa League or Europa Conference League – will be moved up and into the expanded competition.
Another place will be given to the highest-ranked domestic champion by coefficient who does not have an automatic qualifying place for the Champions League (currently the Netherlands), whilst an additional place will go to the fifth-highest-ranked national league (either France or Portugal).
Should any Premier League sides be moved up into the Champions League as a wildcard entrant, their positions in either the Europa League or Europa Conference League will not be taken by another English representative.