UEFA are planning a Champions League format restructure, proposing a version of the competition with extra places for high coefficient rankings.
ESPN report that under the version of the Champions League restructure currently being discussed by UEFA, one extra place would go to the French league, and others would be distributed according to coefficient rankings.
There is reported “concern” around lower-ranking leagues that this would mean more places for the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, and Serie A. This won’t be so concerning to Arsenal.
It would benefit Arsenal to have an extra place or two based on the coefficient. The Gunners are the highest-ranking team in Europe for coefficient if you exclude any clubs already in their league’s Champions League qualification spots.
Overall, Arsenal are 11th in Europe, which is clearly enough to make it into a competition with 32 teams or more, depending on the outcome of the restructure.
Whether it’s fair to judge on European performance over five years (which is how the coefficient is calculated) rather than purely on league finish last season, is another matter.
I wouldn’t get your hopes up just yet. This is still just a proposal, and it may not turn out anything like this. Even if it does, it might take a few years to be implemented.
But in its current form, it’s a change that would benefit clubs that have been more successful in Europe than their domestic leagues recently.
Believe it or not, that includes Arsenal. A Europa League semi-final and a final in the last three years beats consecutive finishes outside the top four.