European football’s governing body are believed to be contemplating introducing a new four-team mini-tournament at the start of each season, replacing the now competed Super Cup played between the winners of the Champions League and Europa League, UEFA confirmed on June 14.
As per French publication L’Equipe, the continent’s football governing body are weighing up the idea of a club competition involving the winners of the previous season’s Champions League along with three other leading clubs.
The French daily has went on to report that this idea was included in the invitation to tender for the broadcast rights for the new, expanded Champions League from 2024 to 2027 that would feature 36 teams instead of the now 32.
However, UEFA representatives have said that the idea has just been floated currently and nothing is yet decided. Speaking to AFP, the body’s official said, “it is an idea mentioned in the call for bids, but nothing is decided”.
It is also being reported that the mini-tournament would not necessarily mean more matches. L’Equipe claims that the tournament is set to involve four games – semi-finals, a final and a third-place match.
Last month, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin told AFP that the idea was floated and that talks had taken place about transforming the one-off UEFA Super Cup match to make it a four-team affair.
“That is a possibility, for sure. Now, who will play exactly we cannot tell for sure yet. This is one of the ideas that we will do something more with that at the beginning of the season, or before the start of the season.”
In that very interview, Ceferin also confirmed that unlike the current format of the UEFA Champions League wherein teams are divided into eight groups of four – playing a total of six games on a home and away basis, the new format will see one single league table, which includes all teams.
Each club would play eight league stage games against different opponents, with four home ties and four away ties. The top eight teams will go through the knockout stages, while the clubs finishing from ninth to 24th will compete in a two-legged play-off to progress.
Last season, UEFA had also introduced a new third-tier continental competition named UEFA Conference League that sees mid-table clubs participate for continental honours.