Champions League qualification rules restructuring!

Champions League – The most coveted trophy in club football might get more interesting! Yes, you read that correct. There is a very strong possibility that the 4th spot, automatic qualification to the champions league might get scrapped for the Premier League. But it would not just be the Premier League affected by the changes, with clubs in La Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga also facing the threat of missing out on a seat at Europe’s top table from 2021-22 season.

There will however be a two legged qualification game played between the 4th placed club in these above leagues against one of the club in the lower league. To simplify, let’s take 4th place favourites Arsenal in the premier league and the top club from Denmark Superlegien, Midtyjlland. Supposedly Midtyjlland win over the two legs, then they are through to the group stages. Similarly, the other 3 fourth placed clubs from La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A will go head on against the top clubs from other leagues. So it’s really a good option to be honest. If Arsenal aren’t able to defeat Midtyjlland, then they don’t deserve to be in the group stages. Period.

Not only that, coefficient payments to past winners of the competition could also be scrapped under the proposals. Currently, clubs in the Champions League are given more money based on their past successes in the competition. For example, this season Chelsea have received £27.9m ($50.56m) and Spurs £17m ($30.86m) even after being runners up. Again a good move.

Champions League|Premier League:

Things are going to get interesting in these top leagues especially in the premier league where the competition is more fierce and there are 4 clubs fighting for the 2 Champions League spots. Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United. Because let’s be honest, the league will again be won either by Liverpool or Manchester City this time around again. So after the rule is enforced, 4 teams will be fighting for the 3rd spot and the margin for error becomes negligible and the league will become more tougher and interesting.

Champions League |La Liga and Bundesliga:

In Spain there has been a dominance of Barcelona and Real Madrid for almost a century with Atletico Madrid slowly getting into the fold since the last decade. Similarly in Bundesliga we have Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund as the two obvious teams to make the cut. Leipzig are having a dream run currently, but I reckon it won’t last forever and places are up for grabs over there.

Champions League | Serie A:

The Serie A is again where things get tricky. Juventus are the only obvious choice to make it to the top 4 but there are several good teams in Napoli, Roma and from this season Inter Milan who will give a tough competition to Juventus. Also they have a big club like AC Milan as well, who are kind of caught up in a mess at the moment.

The idea is that, the less guaranteed spaces there are for teams to make the Champions League group stages, the more opportunities it provides clubs from other nations to contest directly and potentially qualify. However, there is strong opposition from the Premier League, Bundesliga and La Liga to the proposal.

The plans will be discussed at next week’s European Leagues meeting in London. Will be writing a follow up story to cover that.

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~ Shivashis Patri

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