UEFA have announced the introduction of a new third club competition made up of 32 teams from the 2021-22 season.
It was confirmed by a statement from the ECA, European Club Association, whose President is Juventus patron Andrea Agnelli.
“The UEFA Executive Committee has today unanimously agreed to revamp its club competitions as from the 2021-22 season.
“Following demands by ECA Members to increase the overall number of clubs participating in UEFA’s Club Competitions, the decision has been made to develop a 3rd competition made up of 32 teams. This brings the overall number of participants in UEFA Club Competitions (UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, new Competition) to 96 with 32 participating teams per competition.
“A key factor in reaching this decision was the need to enhance the overall value of the competitions.
“The new Access List will allow for at least 34 associations to be represented in a group stage (compared to 26 associations currently) in a manner which guarantees that domestic champions are prioritised via dedicated qualifying paths. The name and positioning of the new Competition will be developed by UEFA Club Competitions SA.
“This agreement comes following a year of intense but constructive cooperation between ECA and UEFA via a dedicated Working Group. The Working Group comprised eight ECA clubs representing the full range of its membership.”
Agnelli also added his own comment in his role as ECA Chairman.
“I am delighted that the UEFA Executive Committee has agreed to the changes ECA Member Clubs have been calling for. We believe that this outcome ensures that the UEFA club competitions continue to develop in a manner which is fair and balanced, meeting the demands and requirements necessary to ensure that football remains the number one sport globally.
“I would like to add that this whole process is testimony to the strong collaborative efforts of both ECA and UEFA at all levels.”