Uefa set to introduce third European club competition

Tanya Simon
September 11, 2018

It is more likely that it will be a Champions League-lite, with entry limited to teams from Europe's weaker national leagues.

A slimmed down Europa League and a third Uefa competition is expected to be launched in the 2021-22 season, according to the head of the European Clubs' Association (ECA).

The new competition will bring the overall number of clubs involved in European football to 96.

European Club Association (ECA) president Andrea Agnelli reported that the "green light" had been given to the competition.

Uefa competitions committee executive Andrea Agnelli confirmed the development. "The current model needs modernising", he said.

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This idea, which could be approved by UEFA at the December meeting in Dublin, would see the Europa League reduced from 48 teams to 32 so that the Champions League, Europa League and the new competition would all have the same number of competitors.

"A detailed assessment of the existing global match calendar is required prior to presenting a new model post-2024", Agnelli added.

Formerly known as European Professional Football Leagues, the organisation's members include the English Football League, Premier League and Scottish Professional Football League, as well as leagues from 23 other countries.

Europe now has two club competitions - the Champions League, which features 32 teams in the group stage, and the second-tier Europa League, which has 48. The admission criteria for this new competition are still to be determined along with the importance of it in comparison to the Europe League. The latter of these, comprising domestic cup winners, ceased to exist from 1999.

There are also suggestions that UEFA's decision to add another European competition is fuelled by nothing more than money, which certainly seems possible.

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