UEFA have announced a reform of the Champions League, and it’s news that will certainly be of interest to Newcastle United.
The Magpies haven’t competed in Europe’s top competition since 2003, and only once came close under Mike Ashley’s ownership. That was an incredible season where Alan Pardew’s side remarkably finished fifth.
The owner decided to capitalise on the fifth-place finish by splashing the cash on Vurnon Anita…
But with a takeover and new ambitions, Newcastle eventually want to be back in the Champions League. That’s been made very clear by the new owners and even some of the new players.
That dream seems very far away considering where the Magpies are right now. It wasn’t long ago we felt relegation to the Championship was inevitable.
However, UEFA’s new Champions League plan might increase Newcastle’s chances of qualifying in the near future.
Newcastle could benefit from Champions League reform
UEFA have confirmed that the number of clubs competing in the Champions League will increase in 2024. An extra four teams will join the competition, taking it from 32 to 36.
There had been plans to award qualification based on a team’s coefficient, effectively handing underachieving historic clubs a route into the Champions League.
However, this will no longer be the case. Instead, two places will go to the highest performing countries in UEFA competitions each season.
That’s good news for Newcastle given how good English clubs are in Europe nowadays. We were moments away from another all English Champions League final this season.
If the new rules came into effect this season, the Premier league would be awarded an extra place. That would allow the team who finishes fifth to play in next season’s Champions League.
We’re still a long way away, but the Champions League reform certainly increases Newcastle’s chances of returning to the show of shows in the future.