A 48-team UEFA Champions League and its implications



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A 48-team UEFA Champions League and its implications

Post by shizzle787 on Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:08 pm

As it stands right now, the Champions League is doing really well. However, there are still some major problems in the sport around Europe: 1) national cups are growing less and less important every day, 2) Eastern European clubs are struggling financially, leading to little talent or ability to keep it, 3) as usual, big clubs are trying to find additional ways to gain income, and 4) the Europa League needs a major overhaul. My solution: a 48-team Champions League.

Entrants (assuming the CL winner would qualify anyway and EL winner wouldn't) in Group Stage (12 groups of 4):
EL winner from previous season
Champions of leagues ranked 1-20
Runners-up of leagues ranked 1-6
Third-place clubs of leagues ranked 1-5
Fourth-place clubs of leagues ranked 1-3
(This totals 35, leaving 13 spots to those who qualify from one of three qualifying paths)
Champions qualifying path (33 clubs for 5 spots):
1st qualifying round: Champions of leagues ranked 46-53 (I ignore Liechtenstein) enter
2nd qualifying round: Champions of leagues ranked 32-45 + 4 winners from previous round enter
3rd qualifying round: Champions of leagues ranked 21-31 + 9 winners from previous round enter
Playoff Round: 10 winners from previous round enter
Non-champions qualifying path (9 clubs for 3 spots):
3rd qualifying round: Runners-up of leagues ranked 10-15 enter
Playoff Round: Third-place club of 6th ranked league + Runners-up of leagues ranke 7-8 + 3 winners
from previous round
Cup winners path (54 clubs for 5 spots):
Note: if cup winner is already qualified for group stage or other two paths of qualifying, the next highest ranked team in country gains berth here (runner-up in most low-tier countries, 5th place in England)
1st qualifying round: Cup winners (or league representative) from leagues ranked 15-54
2nd qualifying round: Cup winners from leagues ranked 7-14 + 20 winners from previous round
3rd qualifying round: Cup winners from leagues ranked 1-6 + 14 winners from previous round
Playoff Round: 10 winners from previous round

Note: I chose 4 groups of 12 instead of 8 groups of 6 because that would take too long to complete: fixture congestion would be a nightmare. Also, Pot 1 teams would be title holders, winners of leagues ranked 1-7, and the next four best clubs by coefficient.

Knockout Stages:
Round of 32 includes 12 group winners + 4 best runners-up as seeded sides while 8 other runners-up and 8 best third-place sides are unseeded. Clubs from same country or group cannot meet until quarterfinals, however, the Round of 16 is unseeded other than those two restrictions.

How the Europa League is affected:
A) Teams will no longer drop into the EL from the group stages as the worst third-place clubs and the fourth-place clubs don't deserve to continue in Europe.
B) Europa League would a straight knockout competition with the Tournament Proper beginning with 64 clubs.
C) There will still be four qualifying rounds, but because each country loses one berth (due to having an extra one in the CL qualifiers), less clubs will be in qualifying.

1) Big clubs get more revenue as they play 2 more games if they go the whole way.
2) It is less challenging for big clubs to fall before the knockout stages, but the CL is already diluted as it is so this doesn't change that much.
3) More clubs from smaller/Eastern European nations gain vital group stage money.
4) Cups across Europe are revitalized as winners are granted CL qualifying.
5) Each country gains a berth in the competition.
6) The top five countries no longer have to deal with the non-champions path as the 4th-place clubs of the best three leagues and the 3rd-place clubs of leagues ranked 4-5 are given byes straight to the group stage.
7) The Europa League could return to a knockout format because the revenue lost from not having a group stage would be gained back by having a Round of 32 in the Champions League.
Cool It would be easier for big clubs to scout talent from smaller clubs due to some of the latter having a better chance of making the group stages.
1) Group stages are more diluted: I can't deny that.
2) Clubs have to play 2 more games to win the competition, meaning less breaks for players.
3) Due to the Round of 16 being virtually unseeded, big clubs could meet there, allowing for a minnow to get to a quarterfinal or semifinal (this could also be viewed as a pro).

    Current date/time is Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:04 pm