The European Club Association (ECA), led by Juventus President Andrea Agnelli, has confirmed its desire for the Champions League to implement a system of promotion and relegation. Based on the changes that are proposed, there will no longer be an emphasis on qualification through domestic leagues. Only eight of the 32 group stage spots would be available to teams based on domestic league performance. On top of that, any side that advances to the last 16 would be guaranteed a place in the following season’s competition, while Agnelli also wants four groups of eight teams, instead of the existing eight groups of four. Any changes to the competition can only come into effect in 2024, when broadcast contracts expire, and the international match calendar is reset. This just sounds like an opportunity for the rich to get richer, and with the quality of knockout football in the Champions League over the last few seasons, why is a change even necessary? Will teams like Ajax this year, or Monaco in 2015, be able to make fairy tale runs, deep into the competition?
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