Clubs propose Champions League reforms based on coefficient ranking | Champions League
Plans that would allow clubs to qualify for the Champions League based on their historical performance and not their league position are back on the table, a year after the collapse of the European Super League.
Members of the European Club Association, an organization that includes 10 Premier League teams, are to lobby UEFA to allow two teams to qualify for Europe’s elite club competition based in part on their coefficient, a metric calculated based on continental performance over the previous five seasons. .
The Guardian understands the proposals would see clubs who finish outside the Champions League places in their domestic leagues, but qualify for the Europa League or win a domestic cup, compete for two places which would then be decided by coefficient ranking .
The proposals have been discussed in the Club Competitions Committee working group, which sees senior ECA members working on competition reforms with UEFA. They are also likely to be raised at the organization’s General Assembly in Vienna this week.
Allowing clubs to qualify for the Champions League via the club coefficient was part of the original plans to expand the competition approved by UEFA last year. At the time, they were seen as allowing big clubs to secure a place in the competition even if they did not qualify on merit by league position.
Following the collapse of the European Super League and public concern over the preservation of “sporting integrity”, UEFA said the reforms could be adjusted. Speaking earlier this month at the Financial Times Business of Football summit, governing body chairman Alexander Ceferin said that while the means of qualification for two additional teams had not been confirmed, it would mean “more places for small and mainly medium-sized enterprises”. leagues”.
However, any return to using a coefficient as the basis for qualification will likely benefit clubs in Europe’s biggest leagues, where there are more qualifying places to start and where teams tend to dominate the later stages of tournaments. . A club from a major league may even see its own coefficient boosted if other clubs in its division are successful in Europe.
The proposals will be divisive. The European league organization which represents domestic competitions across the continent is against coefficient qualification, as are a number of supporters’ organisations. A leading group of supporters, Football Supporters’ Europe, this weekend launched an initiative called Win it on the Pitch which calls for reform of EU law which, among other things, would guarantee “qualification for the Europe via national success”.
The issue also remains a sore point within the Premier League. While the league’s biggest clubs are members of the ECA, including the six breakaway Super League teams, other clubs are increasingly talking about the competitive imbalance within the division, an imbalance they see themselves as favored by UEFA’s reforms.
Last year’s Super League plans were spearheaded by then ECA chairman Andrea Agnelli, who subsequently resigned from his post. Juventus, chaired by Agnelli, also left the organisation, alongside fellow Super League clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona, along with ECA chairman-turned-Paris Saint-Germain chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
Sources close to ECA confirmed talks with UEFA over Champions League reform were continuing, but insisted any final decision would be taken by the governing body.