The new Champions League rules, which will take effect in the 2024/2025 season, have been formally published by UEFA.
UEFA acknowledged plans to modify the Champions League format last year, but the new rules were still being worked out. Many people were sceptical of what adjustments UEFA would make after the turmoil over the European Super League ideas. The Champions League has remained unchanged since 2003, however in 2024, a new format will be introduced.
The Champions League group stage traditionally had 32 teams, however, this will now be increased to 36. The competition’s ‘group stage’ will rank all 36 teams from 1 to 36. Teams will receive three points for a win and one point for a tie, as is customary, and this will determine their ranking.
The top eight teams in the rankings will automatically proceed to the last 16, followed by a play-off between teams 9 and 24. The competition will subsequently be decided by the remaining teams. Instead of playing three teams, home and away, each club in the final 36 will play eight different clubs, four at home and four on the road.
The complete list of modifications is available on the UEFA website.
⚽ The #UEFAExCo has approved the final format and access list for UEFA club competitions from the 2024/25 season.
✅ No more access granted based on club coefficients.
✅ Eight matches instead of ten in the new league phase.
— UEFA (@UEFA) May 10, 2022
In the early stages of the Champions League, playing eight different teams may provide intriguing viewing for supporters. However, fixture schedules across Europe have been extremely packed in recent years, and these adjustments would only exacerbate the situation.