ANDREAS AGNELLI, the Juventus chairman and president of the European Clubs Association, is planning to push ahead with proposals to revamp the elite competitions – a change which could act as a major boost for Celtic.
The Euro supremo aims to introduce a third tier beneath the Europa League and encouraging a system of promotion through the pyramid, based solely on performance in Europe, not through domestic results.
His argument is based on the fact that Europe’s elite clubs will qualify regardless of the system in place, whereas teams such as Celtic and Leicester City ((two of the examples he cited) would benefit from being able to grow and develop within European competition.
At the moment, of course, the Hoops and other clubs of their status risk missing out due to domestic performance or having to play qualifiers every year due to a lower coefficient.
Agnelli, as reported in Sky Sports News, said: “Whatever changes are brought, I don’t think they will change the participation of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or PSG.
“I think what’s important is creating a system that a team like Leicester, if they do qualify and enter the system they can grow with it and not just relegated to domestic relevance, that’s what we should be looking at.
“What is happening today, unless you are part of the 12 or 15 teams that participate practically every year, participating in European competition is not just winning the lottery, but is the new axis to a progressive system that allows you to grow and potentially turn your brand into a global brand.”
Agnelli’s proposals will not find universal acceptance, but, at least, they could provide a springboard that would prevent Celtic having to kick off their season in July and play a scheduled four qualifiers before they can reach the lucrative group stages.
Highlighting the imbalance in coefficients was the fact Liverpool played Spurs in the Champions League Final in June and, between them, it had been EIGHTY-SEVEN years since they had won the English title.
The Anfield side last lifted the championship in 1990 and the London outfit sampled success way back in 1961.