Champions League: Format changes planned for 2024 set to be delayed or scrapped

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By Simon Stone
BBC Sport in Geneva
The changes to European football are likely to be delayed or scrapped.
Uefa was proposing a Champions League containing four classes of eight nightclubs, as opposed to the eight teams of four.
The suggestions came after pressure from theatres below the”big five” – England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France.
After months of talks, no consensus was attained.
The Europa League two and relegation from the Europa League and promotion, a third club competition which begins in 2021, had been indicated as a means of ensuring a turning of clubs, to avoid the Champions League looking to be a competition that was sealed.
Ajax primary executive Edwin van der Sar was among the most vocal demanding change, pointing from the present qualification system could have led to his club having no European football at all following August, even though they came within minutes of getting to last season’s Champions League final before Lucas Moura’s striking injury-time goal for Tottenham in Amsterdam.
The likelihood is that anything employed by 2024 will be much less radical than originally envisaged while the clubs remain committed to change.
Ex-Netherlands goalkeeper Van der Sar was current in Geneva on Monday for its first evening of a two-day meeting of Europe’s leading clubs, by which England’s”big six” clubs – Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United – were represented.
Sources have stated solving the Ajax”problem” is relatively simple and may be achieved by allowing all semi-finalists to the group stage and introducing a play-off for its fourth-placed teams at the two lowest-ranking leagues who undergo four automatic team phase slots – currently Italy and Germany.
A far greater barrier to implementing the changes that are suggested is concern among the major leagues, including the Premier League, that if the plan of Uefa results in television earnings for their competitions, it is going to come at the expense of their domestic competitions.
There is debate about it, however, the opinion is widely held and puts clubs in those contests at loggerheads with sockets at the Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium and Scotland, among others, in which big-name clubs are restricted in their ability to progress because access to TV money from their very own domestic rivals is strictly limited.
They feel unless action can be taken immediately, the gap is going to end up being so wide, it’ll not be bridged.
Last year, the Premier League’s bottom team, Huddersfield, made #96.6m in TV money alone. In 2018, Scottish champions Celtic’s overall income, such as prize money from the Champions League, was #101.6m, a sum which has been decreased markedly in 2019 because of the failure to qualify for the group stages of Europe’s elite competition.
It’s the lack of consensus which resulted in Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin cancelling the key tri-party discussions (involving Uefa, the championships as well as the nightclubs ) which were expected to be held in Switzerland on Wednesday.
These discussions have been put back forever, with chances being that they might not be held until the close of the season.
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