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Big four to feel wind of European change

The Premier League's big four have made such a habit out of challenging for Champions League glory that it is almost impossible to imagine one of them missing out on the tournament altogether.

Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea have contested Europe's blue riband club competition every year since 2003, reaching at least one final apiece since 2005.

But, under changes to the qualifying rounds that come into effect next season, the team finishing fourth in the Premier League could be in for a rude awakening.

Liverpool needed a last-gasp goal against Standard Liege just to come through qualifying in August and now that process is likely to be even more difficult.

Not for the first time, Uefa president Michel Platini is looking to shake things up.

Platini wants to reduce the number of non-champions from countries such as England, Spain and Italy and increase the number of champions from the likes of Bulgaria, Slovakia and Latvia in the competition.

Big four's Champions League income from Uefa since 1992
Manchester United:
£226m
Arsenal:
£179m
Chelsea:
£145m
Liverpool:
£122m

A qualifying path will, therefore, be reserved solely for non-champions from the higher-ranked countries - and that could see England's fourth team pitted against the fourth team from Spain or Italy.

"We introduced this new format after discussions with the clubs but of course there will be losers," Uefa's general secretary David Taylor told BBC Sport.

"To the big clubs who may miss out I would say tough luck. This is a sporting competition and there is no guarantee of success.

"This is good for European football because we are refreshing the competition and we will have increased interest with clubs who have possibly never played in the Champions League before."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/europe/7737736.stm

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I don't know if this is the right thing to do but something needs to change. The group stages are becoming pointless. There's nothing much to play for in any group left. I'd love to see League of Ireland teams in it that would be my dream.
 
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scott 4 evra said:
I don't know if this is the right thing to do but something needs to change. The group stages are becoming pointless. There's nothing much to play for in any group left. I'd love to see League of Ireland teams in it that would be my dream.
That would be like United playing against The Dog And Duck :D

On a serious note, this is just more evidence that they're hating the English
dominance of the competition. They don't like it when English clubs enjoy a
period of success and suddenly they have to change the rules to stop it.

That pleb Platini also wants to give French teams more of a chance by
eliminationg some of the opposition. This rule change will have no effect
on French teams.
 

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Arse Bandito
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I agree with the idea that the Champions League is often fought out between the English teams and that perhaps more champions should be in the champions league.
But the reality is that Platini is again enforcing rules that try to get the english teams out of Europe.
It will in fact make it a bit more of a mismatch. Instead of Liverpool/Villareal/Fiorentina and other good european teams, they will be replaced by low rate serbian/estonian/slovakian etc teams. How does this really increase the spectacle. Surely, it doesn't help solve the problem. It just reduces the number of good teams.
 

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I think its a good thing make our mini league of the top four teams more intresting knowing that a really bad season will result in a difficult game in the qualifiers .

Im all for the smaller countrys getting a piece of the pie maybe they will go out in the group stage but the money they will make would be brilliant and only strengthen european football .
 

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Arse Bandito
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red dave said:
I think its a good thing make our mini league of the top four teams more intresting knowing that a really bad season will result in a difficult game in the qualifiers .

Im all for the smaller countrys getting a piece of the pie maybe they will go out in the group stage but the money they will make would be brilliant and only strengthen european football .
I suppose I agree with you. The importance of top 3 would now mean that out of the big 4, one team will always have to go the hard way, and will thus make the premier league more interesting. But i doubt that's what Platini was thinking.

On the point of the money for smaller teams, in the long run, yes they will strengthen, but i think it will be a few years of mismatch football until then.
 

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That would be amazing Liverpool out of the only trophy they are any good in :p I can see why he's doing it people were writing off teams like Anathrosis and Cluj this year and neither have been embarassed.
 

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RedAdam said:
Instead of Liverpool/Villareal/Fiorentina and other good european teams, they will be replaced by low rate serbian/estonian/slovakian etc teams. How does this really increase the spectacle. Surely, it doesn't help solve the problem. It just reduces the number of good teams.
Exactly. Look at the slate of games we have today. What is the premier draw today? I am having to watch Chelsea/Cluj here in the states. Simply awful.
 

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MUT all-time great
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The 4th best team in England is better than:

the first team in Germany, France
the 2nd team in Italy and Spain

Its unfair, but I can't see it interfering with qualification too often. Platini is just such a nob. :mad:
 

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piazza said:
The 4th best team in England is better than:

the first team in Germany, France
the 2nd team in Italy and Spain

Its unfair, but I can't see it interfering with qualification too often. Platini is just such a nob. :mad:
Thats not fully true imo...bayern on their own turf are as probably as good as the 3rd/4th team in england imo...

Lyon always challenge...they just lack clinical finishing because of the league they play in...so i would not argue that english 4th team is better than lyon but there wont be much in it imo...

4th team in england is not better than 2nd team in spain...barcelona have finished 2nd and 3rd in the last two years and are probably the best team form wise in europe right now...yes they lost today...but they played what we call a 'carling cup team' haha....

as for italy...i agree but the league is getting stronger again..milan on the rise again, juventus coming back and inter will be strong with jose...not like they were not before but u know...

pz
 

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Platini is an idiot. Although really, it doesn't affect Man Utd hugely does it? I can't recall the last time we finished in 4th place, and with the team we have, its not gonna happen anytime soon. Arsenal & Loserpool shuld be very worried.
 

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the problem lies with the very definition of the champions league...just champions or other clubs, PLATINI DOES SEEM TO BE GOING BACKWARDS WITH THIS ONE.ITS NOT THE SAME COMPETITION WE WON WAY BACK WHEN IS IT???
its about the top teams in europe now and i agree fully champions from lesser countries should be allowed in , certainly, but giving champions of some lesser countries automatic qualification to the latter rounds is ridiculous, they are not up to the standard.
its the same as the world club cup were in, i know they are champions of their continents, but really are some of them even up to championship standard??
platini seems to be living in the past with his plans, its not the same competition it was when he was a player i'm afraid..........................

the goalposts have moved and platini is now standing alone with the corner flag
 

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only league winners should be allowed in the tournament like it used to be and straight knock out games , we would have every chance of catching and beating liverpools 5 wins if this was the case because i can't see the scouser's winning the premiership for quite some time.
 

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scottsati said:
the goalposts have moved and platini is now standing alone with the corner flag
Lol. I love that comment. :D

Platini keeps coming up with all these ideas on how to change football. I think he really wants to leave his mark so people remember him for what he did as UEFA President as well as what he did as a player.

I think this one is a compromise on his previous idea of reducing the number of teams from countries such as England, Spain and Italy and replacing them with the champions of smaller nations.

In that respect this is a better idea but I'm undecided on whether it's actually a good one.

Tbh, the qualifying stages are a bit pointless at the moment. There are very few, if any, big shocks and the 3rd place team from England, Spain and Italy always seem to qualify with the 4th place team occasionally missing out (if they're Everton :D ). It would make the qualifying stages more interesting and I assume the loser would go into the UEFA Cup.

It's hard luck on teams such as Aston Villa who have been fighting for years to get into the Champions League though. Now if they finally do finish 4th they could meet a very tough opponent in the qualifying rounds and still not make it!

Imo, it'll make the group stages less of a spectacle if the champions of smaller nations qualify automatically. I'm sure some of them are decent teams but my guess is most of them will get hammered by the other teams in their group. I think it'll take more than a few years of increased revenue from the Champions League to help them compete - try a couple of decades.
 

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i think its the right thing to do its suppose to be the CHAMPIONS league so its only fair on the smallers countries so that it could develop them its gives them a chance to shine and pocket them a few pound
 
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