Arsenal will likely throw their weight behind a Champions League revamp – but that decision could backfire spectacularly further down the line.
That is according to finance guru and Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively after the European Club Association stated on Tuesday that they were not yet able to fully back long-mooted reforms to the competition.
Confirmation of the Champions League’s expansion into a 36-team tournament under the ‘Swiss model’ was anticipated on Wednesday but is now expected in April.
One of the most controversial aspects of the mooted reforms is the introduction of a coefficient system that could see teams qualify based on historic performance.
Maguire explained that Arsenal would likely support the coefficient aspect but in doing so could be setting themselves up for financial catastrophe down the line.
He told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams: “I still think they would be in favour because they’ll be looking at it from a long-term perspective.
“If Arsenal did have a couple of good years and manage to get into the top-four then their coefficient would go up. They are still qualifying for the Europa League on a regular basis.
“But the worst possible outcome is that they could finish 7th and don’t have enough coefficient points.
“The problem for them then is that we could end up with six English clubs in the Champions League and that additional money could mean, if Arsenal aren’t in that six, that they drift off even further than they are at the moment.”
Arsenal have not qualified for the Champions League since the 2015-16 campaign, their penultimate season under Arsene Wenger.
They are currently 9th in the league standings, nine points adrift from the top-four.