UEFA's new Champions League plans have not gone down well amongst the football community.
The governing body of European football announced on Tuesday (May 10) that from the 2024/25 season onwards, their premier competition would be reformatted with the group stage becoming a 36-team league phase. It will involve each team playing a minimum of eight games, instead of the current six, with the top eight progressing to the knockout stage automatically.
Those in ninth to 24th place will then compete in a two-legged play-off to earn qualification, while the rest are eliminated. As well as there being an extra four teams, the other major change is that club coefficients will no longer impact access to the competition.
After the changes were confirmed by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, one fan replied: "What a f***ing stupid format." A second comment read: "Better than originally proposed, but still a bad idea based upon #greed of @UEFA. #UCL should be for max of 2 clubs per league (supposed to be for #Champions!) Clubs that fail in 1 competition should not be parachuted into #UEL or #UECL. You're a charlatan #Ceferin."
"Wow, this format is just pure garbage," simply added one annoyed supporter. Another wrote: "What a joke. 8 games vs 8 different teams is conference football, the Americanisation of European football. And how boring will the late rounds be with 24 of 36 teams progressing. Change the name from Champions League to the Participation Medal & Exhibition League. No thanks."
How do you feel about the changes? Let us know in the comments section.
There has been little response from England's high-profile football figures on the plans, which would have seen the Premier League get an extra Champions League spot next season thanks to two extra places being awarded to the countries who collectively performed best in Europe that year.
But Crystal Palace part-owner and chairman Steve Parish has spoke out against them. “I would love Palace to finish fifth and get the Champions League,” Parish said via the Evening Standard. "But if you ask me honestly as a football person, is that what UEFA should be doing? UEFA to me should be spreading the game across Europe.
“It is all short-term gain and 'let's try and get as many of these clubs in so we can get the most broadcast money’, which for me is wrong. For me this tournament needs to be taken away from UEFA. We talk about an independent regulator over here overseeing everything, but European football needs somebody independent.”
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