From 2024, 36 clubs will compete in a revamped Champions League and get a guarantee of eight games under a “Swiss league” format. As part of a major compromise in Vienna, which also entailed changes to how two spots will be granted, this number was reduced from the originally scheduled 10 matches.
Plans to controversially allow clubs to qualify for the Champions League based on their prior European performance have been shelved. Instead, a spot will be provided based on league position to each of the two nations whose teams had the greatest overall season in Europe the year prior.
The additional spots would go to clubs from England and the Netherlands if the regulations were enforced for this season. England would have gotten one of the spots in four of the last five seasons and six of the last ten.
This result would continue to be probable due to the Premier League’s financial hegemony. The Champions League and Europa League winners will receive a spot in the competition the following season if they have not already qualified through league positions. This might result in England having seven teams in Europe’s top competition. Yet a UEFA official claimed that the likelihood of such happening was equal to “an asteroid hitting this room.”
The English top flight, which had fiercely rejected the prior plans, was represented by senior sources as calling UEFA’s solution “half-decent.” The European Club Association, which had supported the discarded club coefficient plan, applauded it. According to the ECA, the changes were “motivated by collective rather than self-interest” and provided “the chance for future expansion of European football in a sustainable, responsible, and inclusive way.”
Aleksander Ceferin, the president of UEFA, was quick to emphasize that the modifications imply “sporting merit” is front and centre, even though Arsenal might qualify for the Champions League this season if the changes were put into effect without having played in Europe or finishing in the top four.
In keeping with the values- and solidarity-based European sports model, he stated, “UEFA has demonstrated today that we are dedicated to upholding the core values of sport and to protecting the important concept of open tournaments, with qualification based on sporting merit.”
The first Champions League games scheduled for January may have an impact on the replays of the League Cup semi finals and FA Cup third-round matches. “We will continue to work constructively with all stakeholders to ensure there is a complementary balance between European and local football that can assist the game at all levels to thrive,” the Premier League stated.
The Football Supporters’ Association stated that the talks with UEFA had “not been in vain” and that the changes had “placed the brakes on the worst excesses of Europe’s top clubs.” UEFA engaged fan organizations and claimed that two meetings, including one with Premier League fans in Manchester two weeks earlier, had an impact on the decision.
Although some judgements have been reversed, it is still unclear whether the adjustments would satisfy fan demands. The well-known Football Supporters Europe organization demanded greater financial solidarity, no growth in the number of European matches, and no qualifying based on past performance in a statement that was released on Monday. Two of those goals have not been achieved, and a UEFA official stated that the third goal will be handled at a later date that has not yet been determined.
Manchester City against Chelsea:
The current football season has been exceptional. Despite the Covid-19 cases, a tight schedule, a shortage of days off, injuries, and the demise of several legendary football teams, football has once again triumphed and is now moving on to the UEFA Champions League Final, the final act of this demanding season.
The road to Istanbul is now the road to Porto, where two English teams, Manchester City and Chelsea, will compete for the coveted trophy that every football player, club, and fan yearns to hold in their hands.
Chelsea has enjoyed a memorable season. new additions, enthusiasm for Lampard’s management career, surprise performances at the beginning of the season, a slump in form, the hiring of a new manager, FA Cup runners-up, and the crucial Champions League Final.
Chelsea’s current campaign was launched by club great Frank Lampard. Chelsea was particularly active in the transfer market, and their acquisitions of Hakim Ziyech, Edouard Mendy, Kai Haverzts, Ben Chilwell, and Timo Werner enhanced their prospects of winning the English Premier League. They ultimately placed fourth, clinching a spot in the Champions League for the next year. Fans had higher expectations for the EPL due to several exciting additions, but they wouldn’t be too disappointed either because their team would play in the Final in Porto.
No one would have predicted Chelsea to make the Finals at the beginning of the season, even after the round of 16 draws. The term “underdog” is typically used when a team lacks star players or at least players of exceptional calibre yet still manages to outperform more well-known teams. Chelsea doesn’t fall under the “underdog” category because of their youthful talent pool, strong depth on the bench, and manager Thomas Tuchel, who guided PSG to the championship game the previous year.
Under Lampard, Chelsea was doing rather well, but some back-to-back defeats and a drop in the standings finally led to his firing and the hiring of German coach Thomas Tuchel.
City of Manchester:
Man City has consistently played well in European competition, thus it is surprising that this will be their first UCL final. However, they have been at the top of their game for the past three years and have played fantastic football up to this point. However, as was already said, it’s odd that they never made it to the final.
Regarding their EPL performance, they took the first position with 86 points, 12 more than Manchester United in second place. There have been some hiccups along the road, but they have mostly played out as they should have. They currently strive to become the crown champions of Europe despite already holding the English crown.
Since his team’s losses to Tottenham in the 2019–20 semifinals and Lyon in the quarterfinals of the previous season, when they had a chance to reach the championship, Pep Guardiola has been under a lot of criticism. The scene seemed to be very different this time.
They defeated PSG and Dortmund to go to the championship game. The semifinal matchup between City and PSG was anticipated to determine the eventual champion. The city is the favorite once more despite having the more difficult route to the championships. Only time will tell if the two previous “failed favorites” will squander the third opportunity or seize it whole.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise if there aren’t many goals scored in the finals because both sides have been keeping clean sheets throughout this season. The defence would be up against the defence. The victory will be based on whichever defence breaks first. Strikers would be under a great deal of strain even if it was defence versus defence. Since no one can predict when the next opportunity will present itself, they must turn even the slightest possibility into a goal.
In the championship games, midfield play will be of utmost importance. Both clubs are capable of defeating one another, thus the matchup will undoubtedly be exciting.
According to UEFA-approved regulations, the Premier League will feature five teams competing in the Champions League.
The notion, which many criticised as a watered-down version of the Super League, was originally intended to award spots into European football’s elite club tournament based on results over five years. However, the idea was quickly abandoned after fan outrage.
The countries that jointly fared the best in Europe will receive two more seats as a result of the reconsideration.
Thus, clubs from England and Holland would fill the additional Champions League berths this season.
The proposals put an end to two years of trying negotiations about the competition’s structure beginning in the 2024–25 season between clubs, leagues, and UEFA.
The Champions League will be increased from 32 to 36 teams under the new model, with one league table and clubs playing eight matches against opponents with various rankings to determine who advances to the knockout stages.
Nasser al-Khelaifi, the head of the European Club Association, said: “We think the new plans are fair, reasonable, inclusive, and good for supporters.
“We also think the measures would lead to income growth, which will be dispersed to benefit every one of European football,” the statement said.