A new Champions League format, featuring a 10-game first phase, is expected to be agreed upon by Uefa on Wednesday, March 31, 2021.
The new format, if agreed upon by the Union of European Football Associations, will take effect from 2024.
The proposal, which has been on the negotiating table for almost two years, will be finalised on Wednesday and then signed by Uefa’s executive committee.
Under this new format, the current group pattern will be eliminated.
In its place, the number of qualifiers will be increased from 32 to 36, with a space for two ‘wild card’ entries.
The wild cards slot will be reserved for clubs with the highest Uefa co-efficient (points used to rank clubs based on past European success) who did not qualify for the competition through their domestic league positions.
If the format was to be in place now, based on the current league table, it would mean Liverpool would gain a Champions League spot despite being seventh in the Premier League.
However, it has not been smooth sail all the way as there have been some pockets of opposition.
Those opposed to the new plan, particularly from the European Leagues organisation, said the new format would create a “de facto closed shop”.
However, Uefa officials and representatives from the European Club Association have supported the new arrangement, with former Manchester United keeper and current Ajax Chief Executive, Edwin van der Sar also backing the idea.
In this new format, each team will play 10 games against opponents varying in strength, with the results forming an overall league table.
According to BBCsports, those in the highest eight positions will go on to the knockout phase, while those from ninth to 24th will go into a play-off round.
Meanwhile, this new arrangement may cause a problem for the English game, especially the EFL Cup as these additional fixtures will need the mid-week space that is usually allocated to the secondary cup competition.
Crystal Palace chairman, Steve Parish had earlier stated that the 36-team Champions League would have “a devastating effect” on the English game.
It is 99% obvious that these proposals will be accepted, which will give administrators of English football a huge problem.