Champions League: Plans could see teams qualify based on history

RB Leipzig v Paris Saint-Germain F.C - UEFA Champions League Semi Final

New plans could see clubs qualify for the Champions League based on the coefficient, rather than league position.

It’s believed members of the ECA – which includes 10 English clubs – want to see two teams qualify for the Champions League based on their UEFA coefficient.

According to the Guardian, plans are set to be discussed that will enable two clubs each season that fail to qualify in the traditional way will have a second opportunity as long as they qualify for the Europa League or win a domestic cup.

This will be awarded based on their coefficient ranking – a metric calculated based on their continental performance over the last five seasons.

The report states “the proposals would see clubs who finish outside Champions League places in their domestic leagues, but qualify for the Europa League or win a domestic cup, compete for two places which would then be decided by coefficient ranking.”

RB Leipzig v Paris Saint-Germain F.C - UEFA Champions League Semi Final

This proposal has already been discussed within the Club Competitions Committee, which sees senior members of the ECA work on competition reforms with Uefa. It’s likely this will be discussed at UEFA’s General Assembly in Vienna this week.

If the plans are given the green light, it’s likely to be met with discontent from football fans.

It brings back memories of the European Super League proposals in which the biggest clubs on the continent would be guaranteed a spot no matter how they fared in the Premier League.

If the proposals were in place this season, both Manchester United (9th in the coefficients) and Roma 12th in the coefficients) could be the big beneficiaries and qualify for next season’s Champions League despite finishing in Europa League spots in their respective leagues.

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The plans had previously been confirmed for the 2024-25 season onwards but it’s thought the backlash regarding the European Super League may see a lot of the proposed changes scrapped.

Fan groups, including Football Supporters’ Europe, are against the plans and have already launched an initiative “Win it on the Pitch”.

A statement said: “The wave of indignation, solidarity and unity that followed the Super League must now be followed by a clear, concrete and long-term action plan at EU level. Sport is a social good that belongs to everyone – not just the rich and elite.

“It is therefore now more important than ever that the EU institutions, member states and politicians work together with fans and concerned citizens to protect football and other sports across the continent.”

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