We have heard complaints for years that Arsenal have had an unfair advantage when it comes to the Champions League draw at the start of each season. But that is no longer going to be the case as UEFA have changed the seeding system and from next year the top pot will consist of the champions of the top seven leagues in Europe along with the holders of the trophy.
So unless the Gunners win the Premier League or the European cup this season, we are going to drop down into pot two or even three. This seems fairer to clubs like Man City and Atletico Madrid whose great domestic achievements have not been rewarded, but is it too drastic a change and is it now unfair on Arsenal?
Because Wenger and the players’ amazing feat of qualifying for the competition every year as well as getting out of the group phase is now being diminished. The Frenchman has brushed it off in an Arsenal.com report but it is also clear that he does not think the change by UEFA is fair.
Wenger said, “It just means that the top hat will not be top anymore, and it will not be more difficult to play against a Pot One team than a Pot Three team. I don’t think it will change anything at all.
“It is fair if you consider different criteria than the ones [Uefa] considered until now, which was the result you made in Europe over the last five years.
“Before it was just down to the results you have in Europe, which I found quite logical. But somebody decided otherwise. It is not completely justifiable but we can live with that. For me it is not a big problem.”
What it will mean, though, is that pot one will have clubs like CSKA Moscow and better teams from better leagues like England and Spain will have a harder draw. So is this new system as unfair as the old one?