Champions League set for revamp
Published 25/08/2016 | 02:30
England looks set to be handed four permanent Champions League group stage places today under a revamp of the competition from the season after next.
The club which finishes fourth in the Premier League would no longer have to play a qualifier to gain entry to the tournament proper in a move that would stave off the threat of a breakaway European Super League before 2021.
Uefa is scheduled to meet the European Club Association, whose members include the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City, to finalise a deal this morning ahead of the Champions League draw in Monaco.
An agreement to hand four guaranteed places to teams from England, Spain, Italy and Germany would end months of uncertainty over the future of the competition, which has seen ideas discussed as radical as a Super League, guaranteed places for the continent's biggest clubs, and Saturday fixtures.
Those changes have been driven by the top Spanish and Italian clubs, partly over fear about the growing financial gulf between them and Premier League teams and partly to try to make the Champions League group stage more attractive.
England's so-called big five were caught earlier this year attending a meeting at which the prospect of a European Super League was floated but they denied any interest in the idea.
The big winners from the proposed revamp would be clubs from Italy, which currently has just three Champions League places, only two of them permanent. (© Daily Telegraph, London)