UEFA announce new Champions League format

Ross Houston
August 30, 2016

The frustration among some clubs is that, by opening up European competitions to more countries, Uefa has followed a path that might lead to political popularity but does not maximise the commercial potential for the most marketable clubs.

From the 2018/19 season, the top four European leagues - now Spain, Germany, England and Italy - will each be guaranteed four places in the group stage, Uefa competitions director Giorgio Marchetti told reporters.

There's no doubt about it - there's not many things in football more exciting than seeing who your team will be coming up against in Europe.

"From the very beginning, the feeling was the ideal solution for everybody would be a solution in the family", he told reporters.

Under the present framework, England, Germany and Spain have three places each while their fourth placed team must win a play-off to qualify. Still, this is a controversial decision, one that will certainly cause big debate.

The current top four leagues in the UEFA coefficient ranking are La Liga (Spain), Bundesliga (Germany), Premier League (England) and Serie A (Italy). He also mentioned that a 24-team group stage was discussed, but ultimately scrapped.

Uefa, which controls the Champions Association, says the Europa League victors will correspondingly have all the vital qualities for the Champions league together group stage under the new framework.

Do you agree with the new changes for the Champions League group stage entries?

And the UEFA Europa League offers the ideal excuse for all you footie fanatics to visit far-flung European destinations you've always wanted to visit.

Theodoridis said it was an achievement just to keep any places for teams from the smaller leagues who struggle to compete on level terms with the elite clubs.

Other changes announced yesterday are also likely to benefit the big four leagues.

Uefa has besides uncovered the cash related dispersal to clubs will be "stretched out all around" for the Champions league and Europa League. Considerably less than Group B but it's still 42,682 laps around the Friends Arena pitch - the venue for this year's UEFA Europa League Final in Stockholm.

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