UEFA Could Adopt Champions League Proposal To Protect Teams ‘Like Ajax, Leicester And Monaco’

UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin has announced a major proposal to protect vulnerable European teams in the Champions League.

The proposal would shake up the competition in its current format and would lend a helping hand to teams who have reached the quarter-finals.

And teams who make it to that stage of the competition would automatically secure a spot in the following season of the Champions League.

Čeferin says that the sweeping change to the Champions League would provide support to teams such as Ajax, Monaco and Leicester City.

"We would like to protect teams like Ajax this year, or Monaco and Leicester City before," the 51-year-old Slovenian told the Times.

"Ajax played the semi-finals this year and now they will have to sell all their players because they don't know if they will qualify for the Champions League next year.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"I don't think we should protect too many clubs, because then it's too closed, but I think we have to protect some clubs.

"One idea is that those clubs who succeed at a certain stage of the competition can compete the following year too.

"But it is a discussion only. We have a meeting on September 11 to debate it with leagues and clubs."

Ajax were the fierce underdogs in the Champions League last season and came very close to reaching the final.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The Dutch champions swept away sides like Real Madrid and Juventus as they reached the semi-finals, but would ultimately be knocked out at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur.

The Champions League could also adopt a new format that expands it from 32 teams to 40 or 48, which would be broken down into groups featuring five or six clubs.

And there are some other changes that are being considered for the top-tier club competition.

One of those would include switching the format to feature eight teams in four groups instead of four sides in eight groups.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

But that idea was being pitched from the European Club Association (ECA), which is chaired by Juventus president Andrea Agnelli.

And nine English teams are represented in the ECA, including Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Spurs, Everton, Leicester and Newcastle United.

The UEFA president also had an idea for a 'Champions of Champions' clash, which would pit the Euro 2020 winner against the 2019 Copa América winner.

But Čeferin made it clear that UEFA would not support the idea of a European Super League.

"A Super League will never happen while I'm here," he said.

Should UEFA adopt the changes to the Champions League?

Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Adnan Riaz

Adnan Riaz is a journalist for SPORTbible. He studied for a B.A. in History at the University of York and followed it up with an M.A. in Multimedia Journalism at MMU. Before he started writing about sports, he spent over four years in the gaming press. He has worked for several publications, including Hardcore Gamer, LADbible and the Manchester Evening News. Follow him on Twitter to find out what he is working on next. Got a story tip for Adnan? Email him: [email protected]

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