Hammers boss David Moyes says he can see the Champions League light for West Ham United after UEFA changes.
Last season West Ham agonisingly missed out on a top four place and Champions League qualification by a solitary win having recorded a Premier League record 65 points.
This season Moyes’s side are on course for the top seven – and could even match last season’s sixth place finish.
That would be rewarded with back-to-back Europa League qualification for the first time in West Ham’s history.
UEFA have been working in the background to make big changes to the format of its European competitions – most notably the Champions League.
The proposed changes were seen as hugely controversial and were widely criticised – including by West Ham boss Moyes himself (Daily Mail).
The most controversial element of UEFA’s proposed changes – to award two places to clubs that failed to qualify based on historic performance – have been scrapped.
Instead places in the new 36-team competition from 2024 will now be handed to teams from two countries that perform best in European competitions.
The changes mean that in most seasons from 2024, the Premier League should have five Champions League spots. And some seasons it could be as many as seven.
Having been a big critic of the original proposed UEFA proposals, the Hammers boss is a relieved man.
And Moyes says he can now see the Champions League light for West Ham after the UEFA changes were confirmed (The Evening Standard).
“We’re glad we’re seeing a bit of light,” Moyes told The Evening Standard.
“I don’t think it (the original plans) was something anyone was behind.
“I think in football you want competition like we have the pyramid system, you want teams promoted.
“For that to get taken away from clubs, even us at West Ham getting back to Europe was so big. You see how important it was. For the people of East London, the people at the stadium. It was a huge thing.
“So for UEFA then to go back and make things fairer (is good news for West Ham). I don’t think we should just look at the clubs who’ve had success in the past. You have to look to the future and there should always be the opportunity for other clubs to get that chance.”
The next step for West Ham now will be giving Moyes the funds needed to keep the club competitive in and around the top six.