UEFA could do away with plans to award a spot in the UEFA Champions League to teams based on their European ranking after a backlash from supporters and various officials.
Talks are underway over rejigging the Champions League by 2024 and there are plans to introduce a new coefficient rule which would hand the two highest-ranking clubs who failed to qualify for the competition a spot, regardless of how they had performed domestically.
Bringing back memories of the doomed European Super League, the plan has been met by widespread criticism – with the idea of rewarding teams who fail to qualify leaving fans frustrated and disappointed.
According to The Times, that reaction has been heard inside UEFA and some close to the decision-making process believe the plan could well be scrapped.
UEFA insiders stress that the plan is not yet formal and a final decision will be made by Monday 10 May, with talks over the issue scheduled for the coming weeks.
There is a lot of support for introducing the coefficient plan, with some at UEFA highlighting that the competition would be more valuable with the biggest teams guaranteed to feature.
However, while those teams that qualify through their ranking would not take a spot away from a lower-ranked team who made it through traditional means, the criticism of the plan is that the ‘bigger’ teams would be given a safety net that others would not get.
To meet in the middle, there could be changes to the plan which would prevent a team from being handed a historic spot if they finish more than one place outside their county’s Champions League places, but these issues will be discussed over the coming weeks.