A change that is on track! A different Champions League than the current one?

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It seems increasingly likely that the current competition format will change in the medium term thanks to the idea of the leader Andre Agnelli. Here the details of how the proposal goes

A change that is on track! A different Champions League than the current one?

In principle, 2024 is the year fixed for changes to be implemented in the competition format of the Champions League, a theme that has been around in Europe for almost two years, but every so often generates new features. If it comes down to it, there's something for sure, big clubs will be even bigger, and knockouts with epic comebacks like the ones we recently saw from Liverpool and Tottenham, will be more unlikely.

Leer en español: ¡Un cambio que va encaminado! ¿una Champions League diferente a la actual?

And is that such a change would clearly benefit the most powerful clubs in the old continent, which however does not seem to matter to UEFA, which after an initial refusal seems to agree to change some details of the prestigious competition. TYC Sports of Argentina informs that Aleksander Ceferin, president of the mentioned organization, works with the European Association of Clubs (ECA), to look for more power in the face of the new format proposed by the clubs.

First changes

The roles would be reversed, since it would be a four-team tournament with eight teams, which today is eight groups of four clubs, which in the first place leaves us reading more games of group phase 14 instead of 6, while the finalists would end up playing 21 matches, eight more than what the two finalists of each edition have been playing by keeping the round-trip for the eighth, quarter and semifinals. The modification that seems to be the most radical is that of the system of promotions and descents, so that there will no longer be distribution of quotas between the leagues.

TYC Sport replica of the French newspaper L'Equipe, that the first five of each group will assure participation in the next edition, while the eight that finish sixth and seventh would play a promotion to know the four that achieve permanence and the four that would lower to the Europa League, that is, something similar to what has been done in the UEFA Nations League.

Of the Europa League, the four semifinalists and four others of a repechage that has not yet been specified. Also, a third competition of 64 teams would be created to be below the Europa League. The memories of the Liverpool-Barcelona and Ajax-Tottenham duels are still very fresh in the mind, but with this format, reviving that type of matches will be utopian.

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Juventus, and the Premier League: polar opposites

Juventus is the best example of a league that has lost value in the last 20 years. It accumulates eight consecutive scudettos and that lack of competitiveness is precisely what motivated its president Andrea Agnelli, to lead the momentum of this reform: a tournament with many parties and that can attract greater audiences and global profits.

In the Premier League, since it was established, power was divided among the clubs. Each member has one vote, reiterates BBC World, therefore, all modifications are agreed by half of the teams, so the big clubs like Manchester United, City, Liverpool and Chelsea, for example, can not do what they want , but this is how the league is competitive, interested in the international market and is thriving because of its parity and the large number of elite players and technicians that make it up.

The Premier League is a big-selling product in the world, and, in fact, revenues are inflated to the point that the Huddersfield Town team (which has just been relegated from the Premier League) received more money for finishing last in the competition English than what Juventus received for its eighth consecutive title in Serie A of Italy.

It is a clear warning for the rest of the big leagues, in which it becomes a winning circle to guarantee Champions League, representing more money to continue expanding differences over other teams in the league. A level of dominance that makes these leagues no longer attractive to many fans.

However, the changes devised by Agnelli are aimed at being fair, regardless of whether their club is one of the biggest in Europe. An affiliation based on sports meritocracy (for promotion and descent) and not on historical privilege, and also, a kind of symbiosis with other national leagues, which will turn domestic tournaments into non-priority ones.

UEFA conformed

According to Sport, the Catalan newspaper, another of the proposals within the changes is to move the games to the weekend (always played Tuesday and Wednesday) which would end up even more with the interest in the leagues.

Agnelli, president of Juventus, represents 232 continental teams, and commands a board that includes executives of teams such as Manchester United, FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich (even though through its president Karl Heinz Rummenigge, had been opposed to the change of format) according to The Journal. This group has been pushing for years to renew European competitions, but at the same time, to protect the biggest teams.

According to Infobae, UEFA and the European Club Association (ECA) already held a first meeting to "discuss the future of club competitions after 2024", including the Champions League, and according to themselves, it was only of an "exchange of ideas, as if they started from scratch".

UEFA said that "it is the beginning of a reflection in which other affected parties will participate in the coming months, before concrete proposals are decided and developed." We must remember that recently, this body returned to the old system of giving four direct places to the best four in Spain, England, Germany and Italy, from 2019-20.

The negotiations to establish the calendars and television rights for this 'New Champions' have already begun and everything points to the fact that, in 2024, everything will be different in the best club tournament in the world.


LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano

Translated from "¡Un cambio que va encaminado! ¿una Champions League diferente a la actual?"

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