UEFA considering ‘Final Four’ format from COVID bubble for UEFA Champions League
Having just endured one of the most confusing periods in living memory, UEFA have fought off the ‘Dirty Dozen’. As many of the biggest clubs in Europe melded together to form a European Super League, UEFA was blindsided. They were caught trying to find a solution for all of Europe whilst the top clubs wished for a solution for themselves. As such, there was talk that the UEFA Champions League would no longer exist. However, with much of Europe on their side, UEFA won out and instead things will stay the same. Or will they?
A recent report headed in the New York Times suggested that a ‘Final Four’ style program could be put together. The idea is inspired by the COVID-19 resumption of the 2019-20 UCL season. This seen teams meet in a bubble environment, playing out the last period of the tournament in the one city. UEFA appears to believe this offers a unique and exciting format, and might look to move from having just the Final in a neutral venue to moving the ‘Final Four’ – the Semi-Finals – to a neutral venue.
With the vast success of the Lisbon tournament last year, this shows us exactly what UEFA are thinking. Though that included the quarter finalists, this would only include the last four participants. It would see all teams move to one city and play out the final rounds of the UCL in the space of one highly exciting week.
The audience figures were believed to be huge for the Lisbon event, and it has left UEFA with some thinking to do. Could this be the solution to add a fresh impetus to the tournament and keep the big teams from leaving to make their own flagship event?
Will the ‘Final Four’ tournament happen?
According to the NYT, UEFA are set to unveil the plans as a bid to try and win even more support. With fans bored of the same teams making the final positions, it is hoped that the Lisbon event – which seen teams like Lyon and RB Leipzig reach the latter stages – could be replicated and thus create an even more exciting end to the football season.
This comes hot on the heels of talk that UEFA also wants to do away with the controverail away goals rule. Brought in years ago to encourage attacking play, today most teams do play aggressive football and thus it can create unfair weighting that can ruin the end of the season for many clubs.
There was talk that UEFA would look to make the semi-finals a winner-takes-all event, the same as the Final itself. Meanwhile, they would look to fill-out this showpiece week-long event of football with legends games, concerts, and a Youth Final that would also show us the two best young teams in Europe.
While plans could change, the NYT believes that this could be closer to happening than some assume. With UEFA in need of something to get people onside, this is a highly interesting idea that could be a goer.28.05.2021 < Back