Arsenal are set to be one of the clubs to suffer from UEFA’s new Champions League seeding system which aims to elevate the title winners from Europe’s top seven leagues into the first pot, The Guardian reports.
European football’s governing body announced earlier on this season that the previous seeding system, based on a ranking coefficient over a five-year period, would be replaced to reward domestic champions.
Pot one in next season’s Champions League will contain the holders of the competition, alongside the champions of the seven highest ranked European countries.
According to the report, that includes current Russian league leaders Zenit St Petersburg and Juventus with the likes of Real Madrid dropping down with us should they not win La Liga.
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When the changes were announced, Arsene Wenger wasn’t concerned and stated that the competitiveness of the Champions League may be affected.
“Logic for me is when you play in Europe, [you should be judged on] the results in Europe,” he told reporters in October (via Arsenal Player).
“I’m not really fighting it. Why? Because it will just make the seeding less interesting, because group one will have less significance. Will Maribor be in group one because they won the league, or in group two because they are in one of the second-best countries? After that, there’s no hierarchy anymore in the groups.”
Due to the relevant restrictions regarding teams unable to face each other, the new seeding system could make the Champions League group stage less interesting.
Bayern Munich, Barcelona (providing they win La Liga) and PSG apart, the other sides occupying the top seeds are teams not likely to challenge for the competition.