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UEFA set to revamp Champions League seedings

Harold Cunningham

A surprise announcement today with the news that UEFA will shake up the Champions League seedings by introducing a move to hand pot 1 seedings not to those sides with the greatest UEFA coefficient but to reward league winners of the top seven UEFA ranked nations:

Infantino said on Sky Sports News: "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.

"This will give another dynamic with the draw and in the way the groups are composed. It will be approved with the regulations at the start of next year.

"The club committee felt that there should be somehow an additional award given to the winners of the different national competitions."

City of course have been one of the sides the current system has worked against, winning the Premier league twice but unable to progress past the sides entrenched in pot 1. (Looking at the pot 1 sides how realistic is it that City would dislodge any aside from them not qualifying for the competition?)

In theory this should benefit City then, and it is something that supporters have long argued for as this season for example they would have been placed in pot 1 and likely handed an easier task (although Barcelona would have loomed large....).

It may not necessarily make for easier groups as the move on the face of it would dilute pot 1 but strengthen pot 2 (and in return pot 3) as Barcelona, Chelsea, Arsenal, Porto, Zenit and Leverkusen would all have been 'demoted' at the expense of City, PSG, Juventus and CSKA - something not everyone is happy with.

It looks as though there will be a greater element of randomness introduced to the draw (although the 'protection' element will still be present) which may mean more chance of 'Groups of Death' but contrastingly more groups that have a weaker look. In addition, the benefit of topping the group could be reduced as well.

The move will obviously come too late to help City either this or previous seasons, and of course the rule may damage them next season should they not win the league (and possibly get pushed into pot 3 depending upon the various league winners).