The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has officially released details for the new UEFA Champions League format and as you might have already guessed. Several things have been changed.
Below are 10 things you should know about the revamped format of football’s biggest European competition.
Kicking off in 2024
The New Format has been scheduled to commence in the 2024/2025 season.
No More Group Stage
The present group stage replaced by one single league
The European Champions League will witness an increase of four teams to 36
The revamp of European football’s premier club competition will see each team play eight league games — four home and four away — as opposed to six in the group stage.
Automatic Qualification into the Knockout Stage
The top eight sides in the league will qualify automatically for the knockout stage.
Even More Games For Teams That Don’t Make Top 8
The teams finishing in ninth to 24th place will compete in a two-legged play-off to secure their path to the last 16 of the competition.
More Money For Participating Teams
According to UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, “We are convinced that the format chosen strikes the right balance and that it will improve the competitive balance and generate solid revenues that can be distributed to clubs, leagues and into grassroots football across our continent.”
Designed to Kill Off the Super League
Ceferin and UEFA are optimistic that the reforms, passed unanimously by their executive board, will kill off once and for all any thought of the rebel Super League making a reappearance.
Real Madrid, Juventus and Barcelona Are Still Interested in the Super League
Twelve of Europe’s biggest clubs signed up to the proposed new competition last April but it collapsed within days following a fierce backlash from their own players and fans, as well as governments and football’s governing bodies.
Nine clubs distanced themselves from the project but Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus remain on board with the concept.
Changes to the UEFA Europa League
Similar format changes will also be applied to the UEFA Europa League (8 matches in the league stage) and UEFA Europa Conference League (6 matches in the league stage) and both will also include 36 teams in the league phase.
According to Ceferin, “Qualification will thus remain purely based on sporting performance and the dream to participate will remain for all clubs.”