UEFA have recently announced their proposals to reform the Champions League in light of the shocking announcement of a potential European Super League.
The last few days have been some of the most dramatic in modern football history.
With the revelation of the all-new ESL, UEFA’s revealing of their own plans for a new-look Champions League tournament have flown under the radar.
Liverpool fans, among others, are almost unanimously against the European Super League. Yet UEFA’s new proposals are not much better.
First of all, according to UEFA’s website, the number of teams in the Champions League will go from 32 to 36.
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The traditional group stages will be abolished and replaced by a single league stage.
Every club will now be guaranteed a minimum of 10 league stage games against 10 different opponents.
The top eight sides in the league will qualify automatically for the knockout stage. Teams finishing from ninth to 24th place will compete in a two-legged play-off to cement their place in the last 16.
Qualification will continue to be open and earned through a team’s performance in domestic competitions.
The two teams with the highest UEFA club coefficient over the last five years that have not qualified for the Champions League group stage will also be permitted entry.
This new-look competition is set to come in for the 2024/25 season.
What does the new UEFA Champions League mean for Liverpool?
Much like the Super League, this new format is a method of increasing funds for the rich.
However, it also allows for increased income for smaller sides, so it is not all bad.
In terms of Liverpool, if they do not join the ESL, it will see quite a big change.
Due to their coefficient ranking, they will be practically guaranteed a spot in the Champions League every season.
Yes, this is a good thing in one sense. But it will also take away a level of excitement from Premier League fixtures.
If Liverpool are not competing for the Premier League title in a certain season, they will have practically nothing to play for.
Games will be meaningless if they do not have to battle for a top-four spot, much like last night’s match against Leeds.
As fans, we look forward to the emotions that needing to win bring us. This scenario may see those feelings eradicated.
The other big negative is the extra four games before the knockout stages.
Jurgen Klopp has long protested that the big clubs play too many matches. He genuinely has concerns over the health and fitness of the players.
Adding four more games to an already jam-packed football season is nothing short of dangerous.
It may have serious ramifications for the quality of the Premier League, not to mention the domestic cup competitions.
Yes, the European Super League is a frankly horrifying prospect. But UEFA need to look at their own plans before jumping to criticize.