Rangers and Celtic on Champions League alert as EPL claim hints at qualifying shift – Daily Record

Rangers and Celtic on Champions League alert as EPL claim hints at qualifying shift – Daily Record

Europe’s top leagues will convene on Friday for a summit which could shape the future of the Champions League.

UEFA have been locked in talks on how to revamp the competition with focus on how to freshen up the group stage.

With two places in the competition proper up for grabs for Scottish clubs from next season, the likes of Rangers and Celtic are set to watch on closely.

A report in The Telegraph claims clubs in the Premier League could compete for as many as six places in the tournament – four from domestic league positions and potentially a further two based on historic European performance.

It’s stated a club could finish outside England’s “top four” and still qualify for the Champions League if their results in recent seasons are strong enough.

It’s an indication that individual club coefficient could be set to play an even greater role in deciding who gets access to the tournament.

It’s not yet clear how this would apply across other domestic leagues.

In terms of reforming the groups, governing body are understood to prefer a switch to a format with MORE games.

Discussions have centred on scrapping the groups entirely in their current guise to cut down on dead rubber fixtures.

UEFA is considering replacing it with a format in which the 32 clubs would play 10 different opponents and qualification would come from one league table.

Dubbed the ‘Swiss Model’, the proposal hasn’t yet encountered major pushback, with influential European Club Association chief Andrea Agnelli, also Juventus president, backing it.

Juventus chief Andrea Agnelli
(Image: AFP/Getty Images)

He said last week: “I think it is a great system because it is scalable. The number of games you play in the early stages can be a non pre-determined number of games.

Leagues are expected to push for protection of domestic competitions, with the prospect of playing Champions League games at weekends an unpopular one across the board.

The European Leagues group also want an increase in “solidarity” payments being dished out to domestic competitions.

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