UEFA has shaken up their Champions League seeding system. Pot one of the draw will now contain the champions from the top seven ranked leagues along with the defending Champions League winners. The change should go into effect in time for next season’s competition.
Up until now, pot one has contained the eight teams with the highest UEFA coefficient. A main part of this coefficient is a club’s performance in previous UEFA competitions. Usually, multiple teams from only a select few countries make up the teams in this pot.
UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino recently stated, “It will be ratified later on by the executive committee but it’s a clear recommendation of the club competition’s committee that the seeding system changes in this respect as from next season. People had difficulties in understanding how the champion of a country is in a lower pot than the third-ranked in that country.”
For example, Manchester City, the Premier League champions, were placed in pot two. City’s pot placement allowed them to be drawn with giants Bayern Munich in this season’s group stage. In contrast, third placed Chelsea and fourth placed Arsenal were both placed in pot one and received considerably easier opponents.
With this change, bigger clubs can be drawn against each other in the Champions League group stages. Also, the top league champions are given a reward for winning their domestic competitions. According to Infantino, “This will give another dynamic with the draw and in the way the groups are composed.” No doubt would this be a huge change in the process.