Explained: UEFA Champions League New Format That Will Be In Run From 2024/25 Season

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UCL

The tournament’s revised format, effective for the 2024–25 season, has been confirmed by UEFA. From the traditional design that fans are used to, the building will get a dramatic makeover.

A major change to the UEFA Champions League is scheduled to begin with the 2024–25 season. This modification, dubbed the “Swiss model,” breaks from the conventional group stage pattern and adds a more dynamic and inclusive framework.

“UEFA has clearly shown that we are fully committed to respecting the fundamental values of sport and to defending the key principle of open competitions, with qualification based on sporting merit, fully in line with the values and solidarity-based European sports model,” said UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.

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“I am really pleased that it was a unanimous decision of the UEFA Executive Committee, with the European Club Association, European Leagues and national associations all agreeing with the proposal made. Another proof that European football is more united than ever.”

A comprehensive video including all the information you require regarding the new structure has been produced by UEFA.

The current 32 clubs in the Champions League group stage will be joined by 36 teams under the new format. This change makes it possible for clubs to be represented more widely, guaranteeing a more competitive and interesting event.

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The scheduling for the league phase, in which all participating teams are guaranteed eight games (four at home and four away), is the crux of this overhaul.

The current arrangement is a stark contrast to the former one, in which teams were split up into eight groups of four and had to play six games in a double round-robin style.

Teams will play eight different teams in the redesigned format instead of three opponents twice, which will guarantee a variety of matchups and lessen encounter predictability.

The 36 clubs are divided into four pots according to their UEFA coefficients, and each club plays two teams from each pot to determine these matches.

This strategy seeks to improve the tournament’s appeal and intensity by balancing the competition and producing more “big matches” early on. The top eight teams will automatically advance to the round of 16, and the final standings will be combined into a single league table.

A two-leg knockout play-off will be held for teams placing between ninth and 24th to determine which of the eight slots in the final 16 will be awarded. This will bring an extra degree of suspense and unpredictability to the competition.

Notably, there won’t be any national protection during the knockout stages, which could lead to internal confrontations later in the competition.

The Champions League’s allotment of additional spots is also addressed by this revision. Based on their performance in the current season, clubs from the top-performing leagues in Europe will receive two spaces, while the third-placed team in the league ranked fifth in the UEFA coefficient will receive a third spot.

In addition, there will be five teams instead of four in the champion’s qualifying route, guaranteeing greater involvement from all over the continent.

The need for more games—which translates into more cash and high-profile meetings between Europe’s premier clubs—is what motivated the implementation of the Swiss model.

Through the reduction of the initial plan from ten to eight group-stage matches, UEFA has achieved a balance between growing the competition and improving football calendar management.

Fans should anticipate a tournament that promises greater diversity in matchups, increased competition, and an overall better viewing experience as the Champions League enters this new age.

Without question, the 2024–25 campaign will usher in an exciting new era in the storied history of European club football.

By Shyam
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Shyam Sharma who joined SPORTS BIG NEWS in 2021. Focuses on soccer – chiefly the Premier League, LaLiga, UEFA Champions League, Liga MX and MLS. On occasion, also covers American sports, general news and entertainment. Fascinated by the language of sport – particularly the under-appreciated art of translating cliché-speak.