UEFA Champions League: Know all about the new format

UEFA Champions League
Image Credits: @UEFA/Twitter

The UEFA Executive Committee has approved a new format for its club competitions as of the 2024/25 season on Monday. The news came in the wake of the formation of a Super League by 12 elite football clubs. However, following a huge uproar among the fans across Europe, the ESL was suspended on Tuesday. 

The New Format

From the 2024/25 season onwards, all 36 participating clubs will compete in a single league. Four more teams will be able to play among Europe’s best clubs as a result of this.

Teams will play four more matches in the new format than they do now. They will no longer face the same three opponents twice – at home and away. Instead, they will face ten different teams, half of whom will play at home and half away.

Clubs will be able to challenge themselves against a broader variety of rivals. Viewers will be able to see the top teams go head-to-head more often earlier in the competition. With the new format, there should be more to compete for right up until the final night of league play.

The Additional Four Slots

The remaining four slots in 2024/25 will be distributed based on three separate criteria:

Slot one: given to the fifth-placed club in the UEFA national association coefficient rankings. The coefficient for each association is determined by the results of its clubs’ appearances in the UCL and Europa League over the previous five seasons.

Slot two: given to the domestic league champion with the highest club coefficient among all other domestic league champions who did not qualify for the Champions League’s league stage automatically.

Slots three and four: awarded to the two clubs with the highest club coefficients who have qualified either for the Champions League qualification process or the Europa League/Europa Conference League (due to begin in the 2021/22 season) but have not qualified automatically for the Champions League round.

The Last 16

The overall ranking in the new league will be determined by the results of each match. Three points awarded for a win and one point awarded for a tie.

The top eight teams will automatically advance to the round of 16. Teams ranked ninth through 24th will compete in a play-off round.

Those who finished ninth to sixteenth will be seeded in the play-off draw, which means they will play a team that finished 17th to 24th – with home advantage in the second leg. Teams that finish 25th or lower will be disqualified from the competition and will not be eligible to compete in the UEFA Europa League.

The top eight teams from the play-offs will advance to the round of 16. There they will face one of the top eight teams.