Champions League Promotion, Relegation to Be Discussed by ECA

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2019

The UEFA Champions league trophy is exhibited ahead of the draw for the Champions league quarter-final draw, on March 15, 2019 at the House of European football in Nyon. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
FABRICE COFFRINI/Getty Images

A change in structure to how clubs qualify for UEFA competitions is being discussed by some of the leading teams in European football. 

Per BBC Sport, European Club Association (ECA) chairman and Juventus chief Andrea Agnelli wrote a letter to 232 members, outlining a pyramid setup that would see teams battle to make it into the Champions League.

The system would have teams qualify for the competition based on a promotion and relegation system, as opposed to sides qualifying based on their finishing position in their respective national competitions.

The blueprint is described as a "pyramidal Pan-European league system with continuity and opportunity to grow from within" that would be geared towards "enhancement of mobility and dynamism across the system through carefully applied promotion and relegation."

In the report from BBC, it's said the ECA have confirmed discussions are only currently at an early stage. BBC also reported the English, French and Spanish leagues have previously opposed changes to the qualification process, citing the popularity of their domestic leagues.

BBC Sport's Richard Conway offered his thoughts on the proposal and provided more of the details put forward by Angelli:

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TalkSport's Tom Rennie doesn't think the ideas being put forward would work:

If the changes were to go ahead, it would mean a top-four finish in divisions like the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A would not necessarily mean a spot in the Champions League for the following season, as is the case currently.

It would also mean established Champions League sides would potentially have their spot in the competition protected if they were to endure a one-off difficult domestic season. By contrast, teams who have upset the odds in a domestic campaign to finish higher than expected may not necessarily be rewarded with European football.

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