What you need to know about the new Champions League format after 2024

The 2024/25 edition of the UEFA Champions League will follow a new format. We explain what will change, what will
stay the same, what it means for fans, and how it impacts UEFA’s other club competitions.

There is a reason that European football is one of the world’s most successful and popular sports. It never stands still.
Since the inaugural competition, known as the European Champion Clubs’ Cup, kicked off in 1955, UEFA has
continuously evolved and adapted the UEFA Champions League to keep pace with wider changes in the game.

To ensure the new 2024/25 format will deliver the best for clubs, players, and fans, UEFA based its design on extensive
consultations with key stakeholders in the European football community. The final format, access list, and calendar for
European club competitions were approved on 10 May 2022, further to UEFA’s decision of 19 April 2021 to introduce a
new competition system.

“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 Čeferin.

“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.”

How will the Champions League format change from 2024/25?

The pivotal change in the reforms announced by the UEFA Executive Committee is the departure from the current format’s group stage system. The present Champions League group stage includes 32 participants divided into eight groups of four.

From the 2024/25 season, 36 clubs will participate in the Champions League league phase (former group stage), giving four more sides the opportunity to compete against the best clubs in Europe. Those 36 clubs will participate in a single league competition in which all 36 competing clubs are ranked together.

Under the new format, teams will play eight matches in the new league phase (former group stage). They will no longer play three opponents twice – home and away – but will instead face fixtures against eight different teams, playing half of those matches at home and half of them away.

To determine the eight different opponents, the teams will initially be ranked in four seeding pots. Each team will then be drawn to play two opponents from each of these pots, playing one match against a team from each pot at home, and one away.

This gives the opportunity for clubs to test themselves against a wider range of opponents and raises the prospect for fans of seeing the top teams go head-to-head more often and earlier in the competition. It will also result in more competitive matches for every club across the board.Read More

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