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By Simon Stone
BBC Sport at Geneva
The revolutionary changes to football are very most likely to either be delayed or scrapped.
Uefa was proposing a Champions League containing four groups of eight nightclubs, as opposed to the current eight teams of four, meaning 14 matches, some of which can be played at weekends.
The suggestions came after pressure from leagues below the”big five” – England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France.
However no total consensus has been reached.
A party contest which starts in 2021, promotion and relegation from the Europa League along with the Europa League 2, had been suggested to prevent the Champions League looking to become a contest.
Ajax chief executive Edwin van der Sar has been among the most outspoken demanding change, pointing from the current qualification system might have resulted in his club having no European soccer at all later August, even though they came within minutes of having to last year’s Champions League final before Lucas Moura’s dramatic injury-time goal for Tottenham at Amsterdam.
The likelihood is that anything employed by 2024 will be much less radical than envisaged, Even though the clubs remain committed to change.
Ex-Netherlands goalkeeper Van der Sar was current in Geneva on Monday for the first evening of a two-day meeting of Europe’s top clubs, in which England’s”big six” nightclubs – Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United – were represented.
Sources have stated resolving the Ajax”issue” is relatively simple and may be reached by allowing all semi-finalists to the group stage and introducing a play-off for the fourth-placed teams in both lowest-ranking leagues who get four automatic group phase slots – now Italy and Germany.
A barrier to implementing the changes is concern including the Premier League, that if Uefa’s strategy results in television revenue for their rivals, it will come at the expense of their competitions.
There’s debate about it, but the view is widely held and puts clubs in those competitions at loggerheads with sockets in the Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium and Scotland, amongst others, where big-name clubs have been limited in their ability to advance because accessibility to TV cash from their own domestic rivals is strictly limited.
They feel unless action can be taken immediately, the difference will end up being so broad, it will not be bridged.
Last year, the Premier League’s bottom team, Huddersfield, earned #96.6m TV money independently. In 2018, Scottish champions Celtic’s entire income, such as prize money from the Champions League, was 101.6m, a sum that was decreased markedly in 2019 because of the failure to meet the requirements for the group stages of Europe’s elite competition.
It’s the lack of consensus that resulted in Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin cancelling the key tri-party discussions (between Uefathe leagues and the nightclubs ) which were expected to be held in Switzerland on Wednesday.
These discussions are put back forever, with chances being that they may not be held before the season’s close.
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