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New UEFA Qualification Rules Could See Five English Teams In Champions League From 2024

UEFA has abandoned its controversial plan to offer Champions League qualification to teams based on their historical success via club coefficient points.

European soccer's governing body had previously suggested that it would reserve two places in the UCL group phase from 2024 for high-ranking teams who had failed to qualify via their domestic league position.

Using this Premier League season as an example - although the plans were not due to take effect until 2024 - Manchester United would have been given a place in next season's Champions League group stage, despite finishing outside of the top four in England.

This is because United have built up a high number of club coefficient points over years of competing in European soccer. United are currently 10th on UEFA's Europe-wide list of clubs based on coefficient points.

UEFA's initial proposal was met with dismay from fan groups, including Football Supporters Europe, who claimed it was "fundamentally unfair and anti-competitive".

 This feedback was acknowledged by UEFA on Tuesday in a statement which began: "Following an exhaustive consultation with stakeholders in the game, the UEFA Executive Committee has today in Vienna approved the final format and access list for European club competitions as of the 2024/25 season further to its decision of 19 April 2021 to introduce the so-called 'Swiss system'."

UEFA then went on to announce that, instead of two places going to clubs based on their historical success, two extra spots will instead be given each year to the two nations whose clubs performed best in the previous campaign.

This will again be based on coefficient points.

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For example, this season clubs from England have won more points than those from any other nation - with Liverpool, Man City, West Ham and Leicester all going deep in the Champions League, Europa League or Europa Conference League.

Therefore, England would receive an extra place, which would be given to the team who finished fifth in the Premier League.

Holland are on course to finish the 2021/22 season with the second most club coefficient points, thanks largely to Feyenoord's run to the Europa Conference League final.

Should English teams continue to consistently perform well in Europe, then it is likely that the Premier League could regularly have five clubs competing in the Champions League group stage.

Another adaptation to UEFA's earlier plan relates to the number of matches that will be played in the group phase starting in the 2024/25 season.

UEFA initially proposed that each team would play 10 group games, but this week they announced that they will only play eight.

The Champions League remains set to be expanded from 32 teams to 36 teams from 2024.

The UEFA Champions League trophy is pictured on display at the group stage draw ceremony in August 2019

UEFA confirmed its new qualification rules for the Champions League after fan feedback