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European Football News Update: March 6th, 2024

New Format for Champions League Post-2024: A Comprehensive Overview

In a groundbreaking announcement, UEFA has unveiled a new format for the UEFA Champions League starting from the 2024/25 season. This change is set to revolutionize the structure of one of the world’s most prestigious football competitions, aiming to enhance the experience for clubs, players, and fans alike. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming changes and their implications for European football.

Revolutionizing the League Phase

The most significant alteration comes in the league phase of the competition. Moving away from the traditional group stage format, the Champions League will now feature 36 teams in a single league setup. This shift from the current 32-team group stage means four additional clubs will have the chance to compete on Europe’s biggest stage.

Under the new system, each team will play eight matches against eight different opponents, four at home and four away. This ensures a broader range of matchups, increasing the likelihood of top teams facing off earlier in the competition and providing fans with more high-stakes games from the outset.

Allocation of Additional Slots

The expansion to 36 teams raises questions about the allocation of the four extra slots. UEFA has outlined a clear path for these spots:

  1. One slot will go to the third-ranked club from the association in fifth place in the UEFA association club coefficient rankings.
  2. Another slot will be awarded to a domestic champion, increasing the number of clubs qualifying through the Champions path from four to five.
  3. The remaining two slots will be allocated to the associations with the best collective performance by their clubs in the previous season, offering each an additional spot in the league phase.

Knockout Phase Adjustments

The top eight teams from the league phase will automatically advance to the round of 16. Teams finishing 9th to 24th will enter a two-legged knockout play-off to secure their spot in the last 16. This new play-off system promises to keep the competition fierce and engaging right until the end of the league phase.

Impact on Europa League and Europa Conference League

The reform extends beyond the Champions League, with the UEFA Europa League and the newly named UEFA Conference League (previously Europa Conference League) also adopting similar format changes. Both competitions will feature 36 teams in their respective league phases, with the Europa League moving to eight matches and the UEFA Conference League to six matches in this phase.

Benefits for Fans and the European Game

The new format is designed to increase engagement and competition, offering fans more opportunities to see Europe’s top clubs compete. With more games and a broader array of matchups, the excitement level is expected to soar, both in the stadiums and for the global audience.

Moreover, this reform aligns with UEFA’s commitment to the principle of open competition and sporting merit. It aims to sustain the domestic leagues while ensuring more teams, coaches, and players can participate in competitive European football.


The changes to the UEFA Champions League, Europa League, and UEFA Conference League mark a significant shift in European football. By introducing a more inclusive and competitive format, UEFA is setting the stage for a new era of football excellence. As the 2024/25 season approaches, fans, players, and clubs alike eagerly anticipate the unfolding of this new chapter in European football history.

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