The major domestic European leagues apppear to have scored a victory over Michel Platini with the UEFA president reported to be prepared to drop his controversial proposal that domestic cup winners qualify for the Champions League.
Michel Platini is understood to have agreed to shelve his proposal in return for securing a deal where from 2009 six spots in the group stage are reserved for league champions from the bottom 40 countries in Europe.
UEFA’s strategy council, made up of representatives from UEFA, the leagues, the clubs and the players, agreed to the compromise which will now go to UEFA’s executive committee on December 1 for a final decision.
The effect of the change means the fourth-placed side in England, Spain and Italy will play two qualification rounds instead of one.
The champions of Europe’s leading 12 countries will also be guaranteed a place in the group phase.
The six group places reserved for the champions of the 40 lowest leagues among UEFA’s 53 member associations will be decided by three qualifying rounds.
A consequence of today’s decision is that a new organisation for elite clubs clubs is likely to be formed that is completely separate from G14. The group, which represents 18 of Europe’s leading clubs, is now expected to be disbanded.