UEFA have announced ratified changes to the seeding system for next year’s Champions League which will affect how the top seeds are determined.
The new system will see the winners of the 2014-15 Champions League joined by the winners of the domestic titles in Spain, Germany, England, France, Italy, Portugal and Russia.
What this means is no country will have more than two teams in the top set of seeds at the start of the tournament, and more of Europe’s major clubs will meet each other during the group stages.
If the Champions League winner is also one of the seven highest ranking leagues in Europe, then the champions of the eighth-ranked association, Holland (PSV Eindhoven), would be added to the list of top seeds.
Previously teams were seeded by UEFA’s rankings, based on results in Europe.
For example, this season, Chelsea and Arsenal were both placed in Pot One for the Champions League group stage draw.
Next season – should they go on to win the Premier League title – Chelsea would be the only English team placed among the top seeds of the tournament for the group stages.
As it stands now, Arsenal and Manchester United would drop into the second pot of seeds.
Regarding the new system, UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino said: “Football is about winning, it’s about competition, it’s about sporting merit. I think it’s kind of a natural thing to give those who have won a competition a special treatment like this.”
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