New 36-team Champions League format set for final Uefa approval on Monday

New UEFA ‘Swiss system’ for the Champions League

From the 2024/25 season, the UEFA Champions League will be expanded to 36 teams. Replacing the group stage is one ‘Swiss system’ league table, and each team is guaranteed to play ten matches, five home and five away. Fixtures will be determined by seedings.

The top eight sides in the league table after theten matches will qualify for the knockout stage. Teams finishing in ninth to 24th place will compete in a two-legged play-off to secure their place in the last 16 of the competition.

From the Round of 16 onwards, the traditional two-legged home and away knockout ties take place, culminating in a one-off final at a neutral venue.

Similar format changes will also be applied to the UEFA Europa League and the new UEFA Europa Conference League competition, which may also be expanded.

‘European Super League’ proposal

On 18 April 2021, twelve clubs had announced that they intended to be the founding members of a new “European Super League”. The clubs were: AC Milan, Arsenal, Atlético de Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur

Their proposal document stated that there would be “clubs participating in two groups of 10, playing home and away fixtures, with the top three in each group automatically qualifying for the quarter-finals. Teams finishing fourth and fifth will then compete in a two-legged play-off for the remaining quarter-final positions. A two-leg knockout format will be used to reach the final at the end of May, which will be staged as a single fixture at a neutral venue.”

The project faces collapse in the face of overwhelming opposition from fans, clubs not invited, and the footballing authorities, after the six founding English clubs announced they would withdraw..