The plans for a UEFA Europa League Conference have been bubbling away in the back ground for some time.
Europa League 2, as it is being dubbed, has been a plan of UEFA’s for a long time now.
Some are for and some are against it, but on the face of it, for smaller nations it seems like it could be a much better path to success.
For a governing body is strangely seems like they have assembled a good product.
So how will it work and why will it have the potential to bring success to smaller nations.
EL 2 has been developed and will begin next season. The ramifications from it will mean the Europa League is cut down to 32 teams at the group stage, and is made up of teams in the upper level of the European country rankings.
Then, the rest will play in the new conference league.
Many will still have to go through three qualifying rounds and a play off to get to a group stage.
The winners of each respective league will get into the Champions League, and then filter down the tournaments when they get booted out.
For the league winners, they stand a very realistic chance of getting into the group stages of the new UL 2.
For nations such as Wales, this new format could spell success.
It could be argued the Cymru Premier, as it is now known, has improved and so has its success in Europe.
Yes it has, but fans still want more.
Results are better and tighter, but there is always a tonking from a European giant around the corner.
This new system means that is less of a possibility.
So even for the teams that don’t qualify for Europe as champions, they stand a realistic chance of progression in the qualifying rounds.
The group stages, for the standard, may be out of reach but they will have as a good a chance as a lot of the nations in and around them.
The playing field is smaller and less strong in this format. They big boys are still in the Europa League.
So The New Saints would be less likely to get Legia Warsaw and more likely to face a minnow from San Marino.
For the champions of the league, they’d drop into the Europa League then go into the Conference League, and then only be inches away from the group stages.
Any Welsh team in that group stage will represent a major shift and a major success for Welsh football.
I have been reading about some negatives to do with the format. The only one I can think of is split prize money.
With more clubs and an extra competition, there could be a need to split the European money more evenly, unless more cash is being pumped in.
That is the only negative I can see from this new format that is just on the horizon.
But I am sure players who have plugged away in Wales and spent summers travelling to far flung places in Europe, would swap a few quid in the clubs coffers for some success on the continent.