The UEFA Champions League is about to get a whole lot more interesting. At least, that’s the plan.
Plans to shake up the seeing system for Europe’s elite club competition are being pushed through, as clubs will no longer be put into pots in accordance with their UEFA coefficient.
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Instead, the winners of Europe’s top seven leagues plus the reigning UCL champions will be place in pot one from next season onwards.
General secretary of UEFA, Gianni Infantino, told Sky Sports in England that plans to change the Champions League seeding system are set to be finalized for the start of next season’s competition.
“It will be ratified later on by the executive committee but it’s a clear recommendation of the club competition’s committee that the seeding system changes in this respect as from next season. People had difficulties in understanding how the champion of a country is in a lower pot than the third-ranked in that country.
“This will give another dynamic with the draw and in the way the groups are composed. It will be approved with the regulations at the start of next year. The club committee felt that there should be somehow an additional award given to the winners of the different national competitions.”
So, this should make the UCL group stages a lot more interesting as only a maximum of two teams from the same nation can be in pot one. This season Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid were in pot one, along with Chelsea and Arsenal, Benfica and Porto, plus Bayern Munich.
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With Manchester City winning the PL last season but having a low coefficient with UEFA, they continue to get some of Europe’s best teams in the group stages while other English teams such as Chelsea and Arsenal get much more favorable draws despite finishing below them in the PL standings from the previous season. That isn’t right as this move will be welcomed by many as the domestic champions are rewarded for dominance in their own leagues.
As things stand in the current UEFA nations coefficient, next season the champions of England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Portugal and Russia will all get placed into pot one along with the reigning Champions League winners. That seems fair to me. No complaints here.