While Manchester City and Liverpool are fighting it out for the title, and Chelsea in a strong position in finish third; Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United battle for one Champions League slot.
The battle for Premier League top four finish for the past five years has always gone down the wire with ‘two’ out of the ‘top six’ missing out on Champions League football. This which Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United have been guilty of most of the times.
However, according to The Athletic, The European Club Association (ECA) has been presented with new qualification rules for the Champions League which could see a team qualify for the Champions League in future without finishing in the Premier League top four or lifting the Champions League or Europa League titles but based on coefficient over the last five seasons.
For years Premier League teams have become accustomed to the current qualification model which rewards teams accordingly for their league finish but, under a potential new model, that could all change.
From 2024/25, UEFA will increase the number of competing sides in the Champions league-proper to 32 to 36.
The competition will use the so-called ‘Swiss-model’ which involves every team playing in a single league instead of a standard the group stage, with a guarantee of at least 10 games apiece.
Two of the four new spots up for grabs will be handed to teams with the best historical performance who finished outside the Champions League spots in their domestic league the previous season.
Of those places, two would go to teams with the best historical performance- although they have to finish in the places just outside the Champions League spots in their own league — and these will be known as the two co-efficient places that take into consideration a club’s performance over the previous five seasons.
Another slot will go to the fifth best-performing league in Europe, and one extra for the ‘Champions’ pathway in qualification.
That could mean as many as an extra two slots going to teams from the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A or the Bundesliga, or any European nations.
Alternatively, one could go to the fifth-placed side in the Premier League and one to the team just outside the top four in La Liga, for example.
In short, the new ruling could provide Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United renewed security in their dreams of Champions League qualification.
The Athletic claim that UEFA secretary general Giorgio Marchetti tabled this to Europe’s leading sides in a hotel in central Vienna today.
The report also claims that the new model is expected to be discussed by UEFA in April before being given the green light in May, ahead of being implemented for the start of the 2024-25 season.