Premier League to lose Champions League spot

Under the changes, the fourth-placed side would most likely revert to the previous criteria of pre-season qualification. Photo: PA

The Premier League faces losing an automatic Champions League place under proposals being discussed by the European leagues.

Tougher qualification criteria affecting England's top tier as well as La Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga could be in place within two seasons.

The Premier League has yet to be formally asked about proposals to reduce automatic spaces to three, but Lars-Christer Olsson, head of European Leagues, suggested the leagues would be "fine" with a blanket reduction.

"I think some of the big leagues would be fine if they are all treated in the same way," said Olsson, whose proposals will be discussed at a meeting attended by the Premier League next month.

"If you are giving four positions to the Premier League and taking one away from the Bundesliga then you have a problem.

"The big leagues are prepared to participate in this discussion for something new if they are treated the same."

Under the changes, the fourth-placed side would most likely revert to the previous criteria of pre-season qualification. Another option would be to abandon the berth altogether.

Olsson said the current allocation of 13 Champions League proper matches en route to the final was the ideal amount, and he is vehemently opposed to talks of a new elite European league competition spearheaded by the Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli, who is head of the European Clubs Association.

Speaking earlier, Agnelli insisted at Leaders Week London 2019 that his plans would not be a closed shop. He insists his new super league was not a full breakaway from domestic set-ups, but would ensure clubs such as Celtic and Red Star Belgrade were guaranteed more competitive games.