European Leagues boss: Top-four leagues should lose one automatic Champions League place

The Premier League and others may have to deal with only three automatic spots in the future, says Lars-Christer Olsson

European Leagues president Lars-Christer Olsson has said he is in favour of taking away one automatic Champions League berth from the top four European leagues. 

Olsson has hit back at changes proposed by Juventus president and European Club Association chief Andrea Agnelli, who wants to expand the Champions League.

Under Agnelli's proposal, the Champions League group stage would change from eight groups of four to six groups of six, increasing the number of matches for each team from six to 10.

Agnelli is hoping to switch to a Champions League model that contains promotion and relegation, putting more of an emphasis on European performance. 

Olsson, whose European Leagues organisation represents the interests of 36 professional leagues across 29 countries, is not in agreement with Agnelli's proposal, saying it "closes the opportunities for others." 

The Swede has instead fixated on a three-tier model for the Champions League in which qualification is based solely on domestic performance.

“Giving four fixed positions to top associations should be questioned because that closes the opportunities for others," Olsson said at the Leaders Sport Business Summit.

“It would be better to have three fixed places for the highest-ranked countries with the fourth having to qualify through a play-offs.

“I think the big leagues would be fine if they are all treated in the same way. They are prepared to participate in this discussion.

"Clubs should not have an advantage because of what they have done in the past.

"Neither do I think the big leagues - England, Spain, Italy and Germany - should have four teams who go straight into the group stages because it limits the opportunities for teams from other countries."

Olsson has said he is in favour of eliminating the coefficient rankings that currently determine how many places each European league receives in the Champions League. 

“The historical coefficient should be scrapped completely, absolutely," Olsson said. 

“It should be replaced. We need to look at financial distribution as a whole and our message is that the solidarity payments, to the smaller clubs and countries, has to increase. Up to 25 per cent of the money has to go to them.”