Important items are on the agenda of the UEFA Executive Committee, meeting on Monday in Montreux, Switzerland. Of particular interest is the format of the UEFA club competitions as from 2024, the financial distribution for the 2021-24 cycle of the UEFA club competitions and the appointment of hosts for the youth championship final tournaments for 2023, 2024 and 2025.
The format of the UEFA club competitions and in particular the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League as from 2024 is obviously the main item on the agenda.
It is believed a new 36-team format for the UEFA Champions League is set to be approved. This means adding four teams to the Champions League, each playing 10 games instead of six in a single standings table. A controversial change could be that of awarding two of the four new places to clubs which did not qualify on merit but according to their ranking.
The new formats proposal sees the UEFA Europa League expanded to eight rounds in the 32-team single standings — a variation of the Swiss model used in chess tournaments. The UEFA Europa Conference League should have six rounds also in the 32-team standings feeding into playoffs and a last-16 knockout bracket.
With regards to Malta, under the current format, the Maltese champions enter the first qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. In case of elimination from the first qualifying round, the Maltese champions enter the second qualifying round of the UEFA Europa Conference League. On the other hand, in case of elimination from the second qualifying round of the UCL, the Maltese champions would enter the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League.
As from this coming season, the other three clubs representing Malta in the UEFA club competitions enter the new UEFA Europa Conference League first qualifying round and no longer the UEFA Europa League.
UEFA club competitions – financial distribution for the 2021-24 cycle
The financial distribution for the 2021-24 cycle of the UEFA club competitions, which now also feature the UEFA Europa Conference League, is up for discussion.
During the past season, each domestic champion club that does not qualify for the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League group stage received €260,000 in addition to the amounts due for participation in each qualifying round.
Each club participating in the qualifying rounds that does not qualify for the UEFA Champions League play-offs received the following amounts per round played: preliminary round – €230,000; first qualifying round – €280,000; second qualifying round – €380,000; third qualifying round – €480,000 (only for clubs eliminated from the champions path, since clubs eliminated from the league path qualify directly for the UEFA Europa League group stage and therefore benefit from its distribution system).
On the other hand, each club participating in the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Europa League received the following amounts per round played: preliminary round – €220,000; first qualifying round – €240,000; second qualifying round – €260,000; third qualifying round – €280,000; play-offs – €300,000 (eliminated clubs only).
Appointment of hosts: Youth championship final tournaments 2023, 2024 and 2025
Meanwhile with regards to the appointment of hosts for the youth championship final tournaments for 2023, 2024 and 2025, Malta had made a bid to host the 2024 UEFA Under-19 Championship.
However, following the cancellation due to COVID-19 of the 2019/20 and 2020/21 championships which were due to be held in Northern Ireland and Romania respectively, these two countries could be given preference. The 2021/22 edition will be held in Slovakia.
Malta had successfully hosted the UEFA Under-17 Championships in 2014.
Meanwhile other items on the agenda include an update on UEFA EURO 2020; new regulations and financial distribution for the 2021-25 cycle of the UEFA Women’s Champions League and the approval of regulations for the 2021-24 UEFA Champions League; 2021-24 UEFA Europa League; 2021-24 UEFA Youth League; 2021-24 UEFA Super Cup; 2021/22 UEFA Futsal Champions League and 2021/22 UEFA European Under-19 Futsal Championship.