Total revolution: this will be the "new Champions League" from 2024 onwards
UEFA announced a number of changes to the competition's format, with more teams and more games to be played from the 2024-25 season onwards
The Champions League as we know it will cease to exist from the 2024-25 season onwards. UEFA announced on Tuesday, May 10 a series of revolutionary changes for the most important club tournament in the Europe, in order to revitalize it and fight against attempts by the most powerful clubs to create other competitions, such as the Super League with which Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona still dream.
The main change with the "new Champions League" will be dissapearance of the group stage. Instead there will be an eight-match "mini-league" for each team where they will play eight different rivals, four at home and four away. There will now also be 36 teams, four more from the usual 32 qualified.
This format ensures each team a minimum of 8 games, which is one of the promises made by the head of UEFA, Aleksander Ceferin, so that the clubs achieve a higher revenues. The top 8 clubs in the new mini-league will qualify directly to the round of 16. The remaining 8 teams will come out of a play-off. Finally and although this is not official, UEFA plans to make a "final four" for the semi-finals and the final in a neutral venue and have the Champions League get the attention of the entire world for at least a week.
To go from 32 teams to 36 teams, UEFA has decided that the league that is fifth in the European ranking will obtain a new direct place, in this case it is Ligue 1 in France. The other places will come out of a similar coefficient in terms of performance in the previous season. Spain and England have an advantage since they are always the countries with the best coefficient in the ranking that is drawn up. Revenue for this new Champions will increase by up to 40%, ensuring figures of around 4 billion euros for each edition.
UEFA President Ceferin defended the new format: "We are convinced that the chosen format strikes the right balance and that it will improve the competitive balance and generate solid income that can be distributed between the clubs, the leagues and grassroots football across our continent while increasing the appeal and popularity of our club competitions.
This news hasn't been well received on social media. On the contrary, it is believed that this format is complicated and leaves many doubts. Only time will tell how the new format will work, for which there are still a little more than two years to go.
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