Premier League sides outside ‘Big Six’ are left FUMING after UEFA revealed plans for wildcard entries into the Champions League – with blueprint seen by many clubs as a camouflaged version of the European Super League
- UEFA set to offer two Champions League spots based on previous performance
- Plans have been met with derision from clubs outside Premier League ‘Big Six’
- Current qualification format based on league performance the previous season
- There is a feeling wildcard format is merely a way of appeasing the elite clubs
Premier League teams outside the traditional Big Six have been left fuming at UEFA’s plan to introduce wildcard entry into the Champions League – believing the ploy is effectively a watered down version of the European Super League.
European football’s governing body UEFA have revealed plans to revamp their top club competition, which includes the possibility of offering two Champions League places based on previous performance in the prestigious tournament.
But the proposals have been met with derision from clubs outside Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United, who feel the plan is merely a camouflaged version of the controversial European Super League.
Premier League sides outside the ‘Big Six’ are fuming at UEFA’s plan to introduce wildcard entry into the Champions League
UEFA are planning to offer two Champions League spots based on previous performance
Qualification for the Champions League in it’s current format is based on league performance the previous season.
But the new blueprint would see certain clubs, who have traditionally participated in the competition, handed a route in even if their performance in the previous season’s domestic league doesn’t warrant it.
There is a feeling the wildcard format is merely a way of appeasing the elite clubs; ensuring they can benefit – especially financially – by playing Champions League football even though their league placing wouldn’t warrant qualification in usual circumstances.
West Ham boss David Moyes has been among those to have taken aim at UEFA’s planned reforms of Europe’s premier club competition.
There is a feeling the proposed wildcard format is merely a way of appeasing the elite clubs
‘If we’re honestly talking about a club who are back in Europe, you would have to say we’re new,’ Moyes said.
‘We’re the new boys on the block. I bet you UEFA were not expecting West Ham to be in this position.
‘But that’s what happens. And that’s why we need to keep encouraging UEFA to bring in other teams.
‘Look how well we’ve done. Maybe we might not have got in this competition if there were different rules. From that point of view, I really think that we want to show that we can challenge.’
Premier League fans’ group have also slammed UEFA amid the proposals, accusing them of being out of touch and seeking to create a Super League by the back door.
The Football Supporters’ Association’s Premier League Network says these proposals should be rejected by UEFA, whose ruling executive committee is expected to make a final decision on the Champions League revamp in Vienna on May 10.
The club feel the plan is merely a camouflaged version of the controversial European Super League
‘We are united in opposition to proposals to reform the Champions League that are a back door attempt at a return to the discredited idea of a European Super League,’ the Network’s statement said.
‘Last year, it was our supporter groups that united to force the collapse of the European Super League. At the time, UEFA told us that fans were the heart of the game and promised fans’ views would be centre stage in deciding what came next.
‘So it is with great dismay that we now face the prospect of changes to the Champions League that will mean many more group games being played and entry for some clubs being based on a historical five-year ‘UEFA Club Co-efficient’.
‘These proposals will only widen the gap between rich clubs and the rest, at the same time wrecking domestic league calendars, with the expectation that fans sacrifice yet more time and money attending meaningless group games.’
West Ham boss David Moyes has been among those to have taken aim at UEFA’s planned reforms