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 changes to European soccer are likely to either be delayed or scrapped.
A Champions League comprising four teams of eight clubs, as opposed to the present eight teams of four, which 14 matches, a few of which could be played at weekends was being proposed by uefa.
The suggestions came after pressure from theatres below the”big five” – England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France.
After months of talks, no overall consensus was reached.
Promotion and relegation in the Europa League along with the Europa League two, a party competition which begins in 2021, had also been suggested to protect against the Champions League appearing to be a sealed contest.
Ajax primary executive Edwin van der Sar was among the most vocal demanding shift, pointing out the present qualification system could have resulted in his team with no European football at all following August, even though they arrived within minutes of getting to last year’s Champions League final before Lucas Moura’s dramatic injury-time target for Tottenham in Amsterdam.
The likelihood is that whatever executed by 2024 will be much less radical than initially envisaged, while the clubs stay dedicated to change.
Ex-Netherlands goalkeeper Van der Sar was current in Geneva on Monday for its first evening of a two-day meeting 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”issue” is relatively straightforward and could be reached by allowing all semi-finalists into the group stage and introducing a play-off to the fourth-placed teams at the two lowest-ranking leagues who get four automatic set phase slots – now Italy and Germany.
A obstacle to implementing the changes that are proposed is concern such as the Premier League, that if the plan of Uefa results in higher tv earnings for their rivals, it is going to come at the cost of their rivals.
There is debate about it, but the opinion is widely held and puts clubs in these competitions in loggerheads with sockets at the Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium and Scotland, among others, where big-name clubs have been restricted in their ability to progress because access to TV money out of their very own national competitions is strictly limited.
They sense the difference will wind up being so wide, unless action can be taken quickly, it will never be bridged.
Last year, the Premier League’s bottom club, Huddersfield, earned #96.6m in TV money independently. In 2018, Scottish champions Celtic’s entire income, including prize money from the Champions League, was 101.6m, with a sum which has been decreased markedly in 2019 due to their failure to qualify for the group stages of Europe’s elite competitors.
It’s the absence of consensus that resulted in Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin cancelling the key tri-party talks (between Uefathe leagues and the clubs) which were expected to be held in Switzerland on Wednesday.
With chances being that they may not be held until the season’s end, these discussions have been put back forever.
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