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    Are UEFA’s New Champions League Changes Fair?

    While football across Europe remains on pause, yesterday saw
    reports coming out regarding some big changes in the Champions League qualification
    rules.

    The biggest club governing body UEFA seems to have put in motion a plan to radically alter the process of qualifying for the continent’s most prestigious tournament.

    In light of these developments, I take an in-depth look at
    the exact changes which are being discussed and share my thoughts on how this
    will impact football clubs once we get back to our normal routine.

    What UCL Changes Are Being Discussed?

    There are a couple of key points to UEFA’s plan which is
    rumored to effectively start in 2024.

    First and foremost, qualification for the competition will
    be based on domestic rankings running from the 2020/2021 season through to the
    2023/2024 campaign.

    Meaning that the 32 highest-ranked teams across all European
    leagues during this period will be the ones to qualify for the 2024/2025
    Champions League edition.

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    The exceptions will come for teams that either win their
    domestic competition or reach the semi-final stage of the Europa League.

    You probably have a lot of questions right now, so let me
    proceed with my opinion on which teams will benefit from the changes and who
    will suffer the most.

    How Will This Impact Football Clubs?

    UEFA has long flirted with the possibility of bringing back
    a super-league format for the UCL and it seems that we will finally see this
    happen in 2024.

    Naturally, pinning together the highest-ranked teams across
    three seasons sounds like an exciting spectacle and there’s no doubt that
    viewership and match attendance will increase even further when that happens.

    However, the downside is that the smaller teams will surely
    be negatively impacted by the innovations. Clubs that can’t compete with the
    finances of the top outfits can still break the trends in some leagues but they
    just don’t have the muscle to do it consistently.

    Imagine having a superb season and finishing second but
    missing out on the UCL revenue as the other two seasons saw your performances
    drop.

    This can kill mid-table clubs that put a lot of effort into
    mounting a serious challenge to the elite every once in a while.

    Plus, it will reflect badly on domestic competition as a
    whole.

    For example, the Top Four Race in the Premier League has
    been great for pushing teams to give their all until the end and some seasons
    have provided lots of excitement and drama that usually goes down to the wire.

    Changing the rules for Champions League qualification will
    take a lot out of this as teams will not have the same incentive to keep going
    when they don’t have a chance to win the league outright.

    As you can imagine, this will change the complexion of the
    top domestic competitions in Europe a lot. And not for the better.

    It looks to me that UEFA has made another money-driven
    decision and while clubs like Juventus, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich will be
    just fine, these changes can have disastrous financial and sporting
    consequences to weaker teams and, of course, their fanbases.

    In this time of uncertainty, it would’ve been much nobler of
    UEFA to lend a hand to the smaller football organizations but it seems that
    their voices will not be heard yet again.

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