Champions League: Format changes planned for 2024 set to be delayed or scrapped
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By Simon Stone
BBC Sport in Geneva
The revolutionary changes to football intended for 2024 are most likely to be delayed or scrapped.
A Champions League comprising four groups of eight nightclubs to the present eight teams of four was being proposed by uefa.
The suggestions came after pressure from leagues below the”big five” – England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France.
After weeks of discussions, no consensus has been attained.
Relegation from the Europa League and promotion and the newest Europa League two, a party contest which begins in 2021, had been suggested as a way of making sure a rotation of nightclubs, to avoid the Champions League appearing to be a sealed contest.
Ajax primary executive Edwin van der Sar was one of the most outspoken demanding shift, pointing from the present qualification system might have led to his club with no European football at all following August, though they arrived within seconds of having to last season’s Champions League final before Lucas Moura’s striking injury-time target for Tottenham at Amsterdam.
The likelihood is that whatever executed by 2024 will probably be much less radical than envisaged Even though the clubs remain dedicated to change.
Ex-Netherlands goalkeeper Van der Sar was current in Geneva on Monday for the first day of a two-day assembly of Europe’s top clubs, by which England’s”big six” nightclubs – Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United – were also represented.
Sources have stated resolving the Ajax”problem” is relatively straightforward and could be achieved by permitting all semi-finalists into the group stage and introducing a play-off for the fourth-placed teams in both lowest-ranking leagues that undergo four automatic set stage slots – currently Italy and Germany.
A far greater obstacle to implementing the changes is concern one of the significant leagues, including the Premier League, that when the strategy of Uefa results in tv earnings for their competitions, it is going to come at the cost of their national competitions.
There’s disagreement about it, but the view is widely held and puts clubs in these contests at loggerheads with counterparts from the Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium and Scotland, amongst others, in which big-name clubs have been restricted in their ability to advance because accessibility to TV cash out of their very own domestic competitions is strictly restricted.
They sense the difference will wind up being so wide, unless action can be taken quickly, it’ll not be bridged.
Last season, the Premier League’s bottom club, Huddersfield, made #96.6m TV money independently. In 2018, Scottish champions Celtic’s entire earnings, including prize money in the Champions League, was #101.6m, a sum which was decreased markedly in 2019 because of the failure to meet the requirements for the group stages of Europe’s elite competition.
It’s the lack of consensus that led to Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin cancelling the crucial tri-party discussions (involving Uefathe championships as well as the nightclubs ) which were expected to be held in Switzerland on Wednesday.
With opportunities being that they may not be held before the conclusion of the season, these talks are put back forever.
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