Explaining the new Champions League format

Since its inception in 1955 the Champions League has gone through several rebrands and improvements. And the latest update to the Champions League is due to start from the 2024/25 season. We are going to break down what these changes are going to be.

What are the changes?

In May 2022, UEFA revealed that the standard format we are all used to would be making a change.

The new format will increase the number of participants from 32 to 36 and will transition from the traditional group stages to a single league system. Each team will play 8 games, 4 at home and 4 away. This is known as the Swiss system, a format that is typically associate with chess.

After the 8 games, the top 8 sides will qualify automatically into the knockout stage whilst clubs placed 9th to 24th will enter a two legged play off tie. Clubs placed 25th to 36th will be eliminated.

There will also be no drop down of teams into the Europa League knock out rounds. The competition then returns to the original format from the round of 16 till the final. The format changes will also be applied to the Europa League and the Conference League.

Qualification into the Champions League

Qualification into the Champions League has also changed. Now, two of the extra four qualifying spots will be awarded to nations whose clubs achieve the best collective performance during the previous season. In order to work this out UEFA will divide the total points earned by the number of sides competing in European club competitions.

Cup competitions still affect qualification into the Champions League. For example, if a club wins the Europa League, they will automatically qualify into the Champions League regardless of their league position.

These changes may need getting used to but could be looked back on in the future as a step forward.

Let us know your opinions, is this a step forward or backwards for European football?

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