In a sensational statement, UEFA have confirmed that they have reformed the Champions League with the Group stages scrapped for a single league 36 team format instead. This has been mooted for a while with UEFA looking to change the format of the Champions league from the 2024/25 league season.
In light of the creation of the Super League, UEFA have given the green-light for Champions League reforms which will transform Europe’s top club competition. The changes have been mooted for more than a few years, especially with the current version’s contract expiring at the end of the 2024 season. That has seen many reported versions pop up but nothing was confirmed until a few months ago when a version reportedly released by UEFA popped up.
It has seen European football’s governing body announce a few changes to the current format of the Champions League with them set to start from the 2024/25 season. That includes the annihilation of the group stages with them scrapped in favour of a single league including 36 teams. Not only that, it will see games played on Thursdays instead of Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Aleksander Ceferin, the UEFA president, whole heartedly supported the changes and admitted that it does mean a transformation for the domestic game as well. He also revealed that the evolved format will keep the “alive the dream of any team in Europe” and that will help grow European football. Not only that, Ceferin added that UEFA’s role to safeguard football’s legacy has played a part in this.
"This new format supports the status and future of the domestic game throughout Europe as well. It retains the principle that domestic performance should be the key to qualification and reconfirms the principles of solidarity right through the game and of open competition,” Ceferin told UEFA.com.
"This evolved format will still keep alive the dream of any team in Europe to participate in the UEFA Champions League thanks to results obtained on the pitch and it will enable long-term viability, prosperity, and growth for everyone in European football, not just a tiny, self-selected cartel.
"Football is a social and cultural treasure, enriched with values, traditions and emotions shared across our continent. As the governing body and responsible stewards of the European game, it is UEFA’s role to safeguard this legacy while leading positive future development of football in Europe for national associations, leagues, clubs, players, and fans at every level. This is why we had an extensive consultation process over the last two years which led to the unanimous backing of our proposal and we are convinced that these reforms achieve those objectives,” he added.
The changes in the format:
“Total number of teams rise from 32 to 36 with the group stages scrapped in favour of a single league stage including all participating teams.”
“Top eight sides in the league will qualify automatically for the knockout stage, while 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.”
“Qualification for the UEFA Champions League will continue to be open and earned through a team’s performance in domestic competitions.”
☑️ The #UEFAExCo has approved a new format for club competitions as of the 2024/25 season.— UEFA (@UEFA) April 19, 2021
⚽ The reforms come after an extensive consultation across the football family. The changes made are designed to secure the positive future of European football at every level.#UCL #UEL