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The Premiership is reviewing plans which aim to introduce a new system of Champions League qualification in England. The top three teams still qualify directly, but no longer will the fourth placed finisher have a guaranteed spot. Instead, they will compete with the fifth, sixth and seventh placed teams in a sort of mini-tournament at the end of the season, with the winner getting the final place.

This system is widely used in the lower leagues when it comes to promotion, and it is largely a big success. It adds a lot of drama to the end of the season, and increases competition for places. Such an overhaul in the top flight will be a welcome a refresher that will give a lot of clubs who do not have the resources of the top teams to compete and dream for Europe’s biggest competition.

Of course, this plan also has its opponents, namely the usual top four (Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal) who feel it unfair to take away the achievement of finishing fourth and placing it up for grabs like a cup prize. They say it would devalue the Champions League if the 7th placed team got in, instead of a club that had really “earned it”.

I think this would definitely be a positive move, and would disagree that it would devalue anything. Long gone are the days in which the Champions League was only for champions – whether one of the participants finished 4th or 7th isn’t that big of a difference.

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