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FA Cup Winners Could Be Given Champions League Spot If They Are A 'Big Club' Under New UEFA Rules

Rory O'Callaghan

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FA Cup Winners Could Be Given Champions League Spot If They Are A 'Big Club' Under New UEFA Rules

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

The FA Cup winners could potentially qualify for the Champions League from 2024 under new rules currently being agreed by UEFA.

According to The Telegraph, the Cup winners could be handed a spot in the Champions League if they have a historic record of success in UEFA competitions.

The controversial plans will essentially give so-called bigger clubs another opportunity to qualify for European football’s top competition, while smaller clubs are likely to miss out.

FA Cup winners could potentially qualify for the Champions League from 2024 (Image: PA)
FA Cup winners could potentially qualify for the Champions League from 2024 (Image: PA)

Under the plans, the Champions League will be expanded to a 36-team tournament, with two of the extra places awarded on co-efficient - the formula that UEFA uses to measure historic success and team rankings.

The extra Champions League places will be awarded to the two non-qualified clubs who are ranked highest on the co-efficient list – provided they have either finished one place outside the Champions League positions in their domestic league, or have won their domestic cup.

The new rules are set to make it easier for more established European teams to qualify for the Champions League.

The new rules are set to only benefit the so-called bigger clubs (Image: PA)
The new rules are set to only benefit the so-called bigger clubs (Image: PA)

For example, if the rules were applied to this season, Crystal Palace would not qualify for the Champions League if they won the FA Cup as they have no existing UEFA co-efficient ranking.

However, if Liverpool, Chelsea or Manchester City won the Cup and finished outside the top four, they would almost certainly be given one of the two extra places due to their strong co-efficient rankings after years of competing in European football.

According to the report, the new rules are “very close to agreement” after a UEFA presentation to the European Club Association (ECA) last Monday.

If Crystal Palace won the FA Cup this season, they wouldn't qualify for the Champions League under the current plans (Image: PA)
If Crystal Palace won the FA Cup this season, they wouldn't qualify for the Champions League under the current plans (Image: PA)

From 2024, the Champions League will also switch from its current 32-team, eight-group system to a 36-team single league table in the first round.

The new format will see 100 more games added to the competition per season, with clubs each playing 10 group-stage matches.

If the post-2024 rules were applied to last season, Shakhtar Donetsk and Lyon would have qualified for the Champions League via the co-efficient path, while Arsenal would have been one of the club's to have benefited in the 2019-20 season.

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Topics: FA Cup, Champions League, Football, Premier League, UEFA

Rory O'Callaghan
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