Premier League ‘Big Six’ Could All Qualify For Revamped Champions League
UEFA are reportedly planning a major revamp for the 2024 Champions League, creating a 36-team competition that could involve all of England's 'big six'.
The plan is a response to the threat of a breakaway European Super League and would, in theory, involve two teams across Europe qualifying via their UEFA coefficient ranking. I.e. two recently successful sides that haven't qualified via their domestic league.
The Premier League would retain the top four qualification spots, according to the Daily Mail report.
But with six English clubs in the top 15 of the UEFA coefficient ranking, there would be a real possibility that Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham could play in the competition at the same time.
Let's explain how it's possible! Based on last season's table, the four automatic spots were taken by Liverpool, Man City, Man United and Chelsea.
But looking at the list of clubs on UEFA coefficient ranking, most of the top sides - such as Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus etc - qualify by right in their own league.
So the "highest" placed available teams via coefficient ranking, based on last season, would be Arsenal (11th in the UEFA coefficient) and Tottenham (13th in the UEFA coefficient).
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As both teams got to a major European final in 2018, it's no surprise that they're still high in UEFA's rankings.
However cynics will say this is all just a ploy to include two of European football's giants. If - say - Barca or Man United were to miss out on domestic league-based qualification in future, it could mean they still find themselves in the Champions League.
The new plans for 2024 would see every club play 10 matches against different opponents, five at home and five away, with the top 16 in the league table advancing to the knockout stages.
But this expansion from six group-stage games to 10 for each club has caused concerns over fixture scheduling, with four additional matches to squeeze in when many clubs are bemoaning their fixture congestion.
UEFA plan to discuss - and possibly approve - the proposals during their member-state congress in April 2021.
All imagery: PA Images
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