UEFA could create third tier of European competition

UEFA could create a third club competition for European teams, according to reports.

The idea was discussed at a meeting of the 54 UEFA members on Wednesday and it would feature sides that fail to advance from the qualifying rounds for the Europa League – UEFA’s second-tier competition.

Changes would not come until 2018 – as that is when the current set of TV rights expire – and the talks are at a very early stage.

Volodymyr Geninson, executive director at the Football Federation of Ukraine, told The Associated Press: “It will give more opportunity to the clubs who never get in the final stages to participate (in Europe).”

The Ukrainians support the idea, and Geninson said “it’s more for participation than making money.”

Such a competition would support the plans of UEFA President Michel Platini to give smaller nations increased access to competitions. The Frenchman has already expanded the European Championship to 24 teams and arranged the hosting of Euro 2020 across the continent.

The third-tier competition could be completed before the end of the calendar year, as opposed to going right through to the conclusion of the existing European season.