Champions League 'play-off' idea rejected
Thursday 04 March 2010
The Premier League's proposal to introduce a play-off for the fourth Champions League place has stalled after clubs voted against looking into the idea for the time being.
At the Premier League's board meeting today, chairmen decided against looking into the proposal any further at this stage after the idea surfaced following last month's meeting.
The 'big four' clubs of Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal were reportedly quick to voice their opposition while other clubs were keen on the idea in principle.
The Premier League were looking into the possibility of bringing in a new system which could mean teams finishing fourth to seventh playing a mini-knockout competition.
Such a move would be seen as a measure to inject more competition into the league.
The same four clubs - Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea - have filled the top four positions in five of the past six seasons. Only Everton, in 2005, have broken their stranglehold.
Any new proposal would not come into force for at least three years anyway because of withstanding TV deals, and it is understood fixture congestion was a factor in clubs' decision not to follow the idea up for the time being.
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore admitted there was "not enough support" for the proposal.
"The main topic of discussion was the Champions League play-off for that fourth qualifying place," he told Sky Sports News.
"We gave a lot of discussion, a lot of detail, a lot of data. But there was not enough support to take the idea forward, so we won't be discussing that proposal any further."
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