Goalkeeping legend Edwin Van der Sar has revealed both Ajax and Celtic are in discussions to try and bridge the gap between mid-tier sides in Europe and the elite cash-rich clubs, as reported by The Scottish Sun.
Although Ajax are performing well above their station in the UEFA Champions League right now, there’s a recognition that big teams in smaller teams are being left behind by the big five countries.
Club chief executive Van der Sar has been in talks with his Celtic counterpart Peter Lawwell about making sure that does not happen.
As quoted by The Scottish Sun, the former Dutch international said:
I have been talking to Peter Lawwell for some time.
The ECA is talking to UEFA, trying to make sure there’s more participation and possibilities for clubs from medium and smaller countries, so we can develop and play football at this level.
Many of us are looking at a different way of how teams are set up and how the competition is set up.
Maybe we should look at the club’s co-efficient and see what they have done in Europe, rather than the national co-efficient. And not just recent years.
That is the difficulty for clubs in those countries. Celtic and Ajax are great names in history. They have great followings, all over the world, not just in Holland and Scotland.
We see the Champions League running away from us a little bit.
Those are very interesting comments and perhaps point towards beneficial change for the Hoops in Europe in the years to come.
Clubs at the top will likely be keen on protecting their piece of the pie, but there needs to be recognition that competitions like the UEFA Champions League are better off with massive sides like Celtic and Ajax in it.
Nobody should be handed anything for free, but perhaps co-efficient changes like the ones Van der Sar mentions would be the best compromise, giving the Hoops a platform to fully reach our potential.