Champions League UEFA

UEFA are considering "protecting" teams who reach the closing stages of the Champions League, by guaranteeing them a spot in the following season's competition.

Ajax reached the semi-final of last season's competition, but have had to sell a series of their best players, as they are not definitely going to be in next season's tournament.

And UEFA president, Aleksander Ceferin, has revealed that new proposals are on the table to avoid a repeat of that situation.

Ceferin told the Times: "We would like to protect teams like Ajax this year, or Monaco and Leicester City [who reached the quarter-finals] before.

"Ajax played the semi-finals this year and now they will have to sell all their players because they don't know if they will qualify for the Champions League next year.

"I don't think we should protect too many clubs, because then it's too closed, but I think we have to protect some clubs.

"One idea is that those clubs who succeed at a certain stage of the competition can compete the following year too.

"But it is a discussion only. We have a meeting on September 11 to debate it with leagues and clubs."

There are also discussions over a format that includes four groups of eight teams rather than eight of four, and expanding the competition to 40 or 48 clubs.

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  • Date: Jul 05

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