UEFA is discussing the possibility of adding a third European club competition in addition to the Champions League and Europa League.
The 54 UEFA members discussed the potential of a new tournament during a meeting on Wednesday. Discussions are said to be in the early stages, and would become a reality in 2018 at the earliest.
The new tournament would slot in under the Europa League and give clubs from smaller nations a chance at playing in a European competition. Another option is that it will include teams that failed to reach the Champions League and Europa League.
Stewart Regan, chief executive of the Scottish Football Association spoke to The Guardian about the potential of the new competition.
“It’s a discussion around whether it’s a separate third competition exclusively for smaller countries who then relinquish their place in the Europa League and/or Champions League or whether it’s a competition that basically acts as a further safety net for those clubs that enter the Champions League or Europa League but are typically out by August and then [instead] they fall down into a third competition,” Regan said.
“Obviously finance will be important and what’s the value … in light of the costs of travelling around Europe and playing in a competition which some will see as lower value or not as premium as the Europa League,” Regan said. “I don’t think anyone would want to participate in a loss-making competition for the sake of it.
“There is certainly a development benefit for some of the smaller nations to experience international football as opposed to only having one or two games with one or two teams and being out by August.”
The new potential competition, who remains nameless at this point, could be completed by the end of the calendar year, instead of being on the same schedule as the Champions League and Europa League.