Today, UEFA announced changes to the Champions League seeding system. It's smarter, more streamlined, and really, the way it should've been from the start.
The current system is based on the UEFA coefficient, which quantifies the strength of a team based on their performances in the Champions League and Europa League over the previous five seasons. The teams with the eight best coefficients on the continents were placed in Pot 1 during Champions League draws. It's vital to get into Pot 1, because clubs then avoid other superpowers during the Champions League group stages, likely advance, and boost their coefficient through participation in the knockout rounds.
The problem, though, is that some teams are good enough or play in bad enough leagues to qualify for Champions League every year, and end up in Pot 1. Arsenal, for example, finish fourth in England's Premier League every year and have no chance of winning the Champions League, ever, but were placed in Pot 1 this year. Manchester City, however, were thrown into Pot 2, even though they're last year's English champions.
This is bullshit, obviously, but UEFA are moving on to somewhere better. Starting next season, the eight Pot 1 teams will be the previous season's Champions League winners, and the champions from the top seven European leagues based on UEFA's country coefficient. The top seven leagues are currently Spain, England, Germany, Italy, Portugal, France, and Russia. After that, coefficients will determine which teams are in Pots 2, 3, and 4.
All of this sounds logical and fair and good. This decision will make Pot 1 more relevant. Based on last year's results, Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, CSKA Moscow, Benfica, FC Bayern, and Juventus would all be in Pot 1. Teams like Arsenal, Chelsea, and Barcelona would have had to slide down to a stacked Pot 2.
This makes sense.
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