PREM clubs face a cut to just THREE automatic Champions League places.
Top-flight clubs have been united in their opposition by plans led by the European Club Association to revamp the Champions League.
Juventus president and ECA chief Andrea Agnelli remains determined to force through the changes, despite the opposition from the Prem, La Liga and the Bundesliga.
But now Lars-Christer Olsson, head of the European League umbrella group representing all the major leagues, is pushing to widen access to clubs beyond the big five leagues by reverting to the maximum three guaranteed slots that was the case until last season.
Olsson, speaking at the Leaders Sport Business Summit at Twickenham, said: “Giving four fixed positions to top associations should be questioned because that closes the opportunities for others.
“It would be better to have three fixed places for the highest-ranked countries with the fourth having to qualify through a play-offs.
“In most cases they should be good enough to qualify through sporting reasons but this would give someone else the opportunity to beat them.
“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.”
In most cases they should be good enough to qualify but this would give someone else the opportunity to beat them
A Prem insider said there had been no internal discussion of the idea yet but Olsson’s plans will be discussed at a meeting of the European Leagues in London next week.
Swede Olsson will also push for the abandonment of Uefa’s “historical co-efficient” calculation which sees the 32 teams in the Champions League group phase share £525m based on past performances.
The split saw Chelsea, fifth in this year’s rankings, earn £27.9m from the pot, with Liverpool bagging £22.9m, City £21.9m and Spurs £16.9m.
Olsson added: “The historical coefficient should be scrapped completely, absolutely.
“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.”
Olsson accused Agnelli of plotting a “closed shop” league, arguing the bigger clubs in the ECA wanted a breakaway superleague and that they were poised to simply re-packaged the concept that was ditched last month in the face of club opposition.
Agnelli is ready to bulldoze his plans through despite Prem opposition if he can corral “70-80 per cent” backing from the rest of Europe, with the revamp due from the start of the 2024-25 season.
He said: “The biggest challenge is making sure we all come together and understand what is in our interests.
“We must stand united in the interests of European football. To say ‘No, no, no’ as European league have done is not healthy.”