Uefa are contemplating a return to three European competitions for the first time since they scrapped the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1999.
At a meeting of the 54 Uefa members yesterday in Malta discussions were held over whether to create a third competition for teams that fail to advance from the qualifying rounds of the Europa League.
The idea would have the support of the majority of the smaller nations in Europe as the extra money generated would be a huge boost to their finances.
In this country, where the champions only receive €100,000 in prize money, it is the extra revenue generated by qualifying for the Europa League that offers the real financial rewards for their domestic success.It is a situation replicated across the smaller European leagues,
The discussions are at an early stage and there would be no change to the club competition structure until 2018 at the earliest, as this is when the current television deal expires and contracts will have to be renegotiated to include the third competition.
More talks are likely over the next couple of years but there is a feeling the change will eventually happen.