A third continental club competition that would commence in the 2021-22 season is pending approval from UEFA, according to the European Club Association (ECA).
ECA chairman Andrea Agnelli stated the proposed new tournament would increase the number of clubs playing on the European stage each season to 96 – an increase of 16.
No details have been announced, but it is expected to run alongside the Champions League and the Europa League, although reports suggest the latter competition could be restructured.
“Pending approval of the UEFA Executive Committee, the ‘green light’ has been given to introduce a third competition, bringing the overall number of clubs to 96, as of the 2021-22 season,” Agnelli told the ECA General Assembly.
Agnelli, also the president of Serie A champions Juventus, called for “more international [European] games and less domestic” matches earlier this year.
The launch of a European Super League has long been mooted, but it is claimed the new competition will instead be aimed at teams from the continent’s weaker nations.
Agnelli also hinted at the ECA General Assembly that further changes to the international calendar are being considered, despite the launch of the Nations League.
“A detailed assessment of the existing international match calendar is required prior to presenting a new model post-2024,” Agnelli added. “The current model needs modernising.”
Previously, there were three continental competitions, with the Cup Winners’ Cup taking place between sides that had won their domestic knockout prize. However, it was abolished in 1999, with Lazio the last champions.
At that point, it merged with the UEFA Cup, which became the Europa League in 2009, when the latest rebrand to the competition took place.[Goal]