UEFA have big plans to revamp the current format of the Champions League.
As talk of a supposed European Super League continues to gather pace, the powers-that-be in European football have moved swiftly to conceptualise a new-look tournament to counter the allure of the breakaway league.
The plans, should they be given the green light, will come into place in 2024 and will result in a very different Champions League to what we have become used to.
Firstly, UEFA plan to increase the number of teams in the tournament from 32 to 36 teams which could be very good news for the Premier League’s so-called ‘Big 6’.
According to a report in The Sun, leading nations could be handed as many as six places in the new format.
As before, the top four teams in the league will qualify while the infamous UEFA coefficient will be used to fill out the final two slots.
At the time of writing Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United rank very highly on the co-efficient with Arsenal and Tottenham not far behind.
That means that, even if one of the above mentioned clubs fails to finish in the top four, they could still sneak their way into Europe’s premier club competition.
However, for sides like Leicester City who currently sit in 51st place on the coefficient, a top-four finish would remain the only realistic route to qualification.
Finally, the new plans would see clubs play up to ten matches against different opponents in the group-stage – five at home and five away – which would inevitably cause even further congestion in an already packed fixture schedule.
It is difficult to gauge how fans might respond to a tournament that looks more like a commercial ploy to ensure the biggest names on the continent make regular appearances.
However, with the Super League lurking like a dark cloud on the horizon, you can hardly blame UEFA for going all out in an attempt to freshen things up.
Whether this particular plan is the way to go remains to be seen.