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Champions League: Format changes planned for 2024 set to be delayed or scrapped

27.11.19

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By Simon Stone
BBC Sport at Geneva
The revolutionary changes to soccer planned for 2024 are likely to either be delayed or scrapped.
A Champions League comprising four teams of eight nightclubs to the eight groups of four was being proposed by uefa.
The proposals came after pressure from leagues under the”big five” – England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France.
After weeks of talks, no overall consensus has been reached.
A club contest which commences in 2021, promotion and relegation from the Europa League along with the new Europa League 2, had been indicated to avoid the Champions League looking to develop into a competition that was sealed.
Ajax primary executive Edwin van der Sar was one of the most outspoken demanding change, pointing from the current qualification system might have led to his team having no European football at all later August, though they arrived within minutes of having to last season’s Champions League final before Lucas Moura’s dramatic injury-time goal for Tottenham in Amsterdam.
The likelihood is that anything implemented by 2024 will probably be not as radical than envisaged while the clubs remain dedicated to change.
Ex-Netherlands goalkeeper Van der Sar was current in Geneva on Monday for its first day of a two-day meeting of Europe’s leading clubs, at 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 may be achieved by permitting all semi-finalists to the group stage and introducing a play-off to its fourth-placed teams in both lowest-ranking leagues that undergo four automatic set phase slots – currently Italy and Germany.
A far greater barrier to implementing the suggested changes is concern including the Premier League, that if Uefa’s strategy results in higher television earnings for their rivals, it is going to come at the cost of their competitions.
There’s debate about this, but the opinion is widely held and places clubs in these competitions in loggerheads with counterparts from the Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium and Scotland, among others, where big-name clubs are restricted in their ability to advance because accessibility to TV money from their very own domestic competitions is strictly limited.
They feel the difference will wind up being so wide, unless action can be taken immediately, it’ll never be bridged.
Last season, the Premier League’s bottom team, Huddersfield, earned #96.6m at TV money independently. In 2018, Scottish champions Celtic’s overall income, such as prize money from the Champions League, was #101.6m, a sum which has been decreased markedly in 2019 due to the failure to qualify for the group stages of Europe’s elite competition.
It’s the lack of consensus which led to Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin cancelling the crucial tri-party discussions (involving Uefathe championships as well as the clubs) that were due to be held in Switzerland on Wednesday.
These talks are put back indefinitely, with chances being that they may not be held before the season’s conclusion.
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