Premier League Clubs Guaranteed A Spot in the Group Stages of the Champions League
With the revamp of the Champions League every season, on Thursday, England will be given four permanent places in the group stages. As such, any English club finishing in position four in the league table will skip any qualifiers, and instead, enter the tournament directly. This move is aimed at holding back the possibility of introducing a separate European Super League before the year 2021. A meeting has been scheduled to take place between UEFA and members of the European Club Association, including Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, and Manchester United. Online soccer betting will await the finalization of prior to the announcement of Champions League draw.
The discussions will delve into the issues surrounding the provision of four guaranteed places to teams in the top-flight leagues in England, Germany, Italy and Spain to kill the uncertainty that has loomed in the last few months about the future of the Champions League. Radical ideas and rumors, such as the introduction of a Super League has threatened the survival of the competition when it comes to guaranteeing big league clubs a place irrespective of their domestic performance.
Italian and Spanish Clubs have been in the frontline to push for the agenda due to the financial disparity between them and English top-flight clubs with the aim of decorating the UCL group stages. The big five teams in England has met earlier this year to discuss a possible introduction of a European Super League, which they reportedly denied later. A breakaway competition from the UCL seems unrealistic compared to the proposal to hand the top four teams a permanent place in the group stages of the competition. If such a scenario were implemented before the start of this season, Manchester City would not have been obligated to play Steaua Bucharest in the playoffs.
The Italians will reap big from this setup because their league only has two permanent Champions League places and one provisional one. In the past six seasons, all the teams that have finished third in Serie A has never made it to the group stages of the competition, with Roma becoming the lasts victim after losing to Porto at home on Tuesday with a 4-1 aggregate score line. However, UEFA could eliminate the possibility of big clubs losing matches in the playoffs and instead preserve certain co-efficient schemes that would oblige the EPL to let go the fourth place in case of a series of underperformance in Europe.
When asked about the features of the deal, UEFA and the ECA never commented, with the ECA expressing that it will only announce the revamping of the competition. Pertinent issues remain uncertain, but UEFA had previously stated that the discussions would be finalized by the end of the year. Amending policies surrounding the UCL can only be done every three years because of the various broadcasting contracts handled by the European football governing.
Since UEFA is in the process of electing a new president, political assertions could force an earlier announcement about the revamp. The head of the Slovenian Football Association, Aleksander Ceferin, remains one of the most promising candidates to replace Michel Platini, with reports showing that he could disrupt the negotiation process if the deal comes earlier than the ballot day. However, the ruling executive committee already has other candidates, including Angel Maria Villar, the acting UEFA president (Spain), and Dutchman Michael van Praag. A meeting was planned to take place between Ceferin and officials from football associations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to stamp their backing for over 20 pledges that would endorse him as the next president of UEFA.