Confirmed: Champions League set to undergo major changes from 2024

Major changes are set to be ratified ahead of the 2024/25 Champions League season, which will include more games and more teams across the tournament.

The Champions League at present comprises of 32 teams split into 8 groups of 4, each of which play six group games before the top 2 in each group advance to the next round and subsequently play in a knockout format all the way to the final.

This is set to change, according to the Times. Martyn Ziegler, the same reporter who broke news of the Superleague, has revealed that the initial plan to increase group matches to ten has now been modified so that each team will instead play 8 matches.

This is across the new 'Swiss' model, which sees the groups scrapped for one big league table of 36 sides, where each team will play against 8 other sides to determine where they finish and if they qualify for the next round.

The top 8 will advance directly to the knockout rounds, while those that finish 9th-24th will play out two-legged playoffs to decide who makes it through to join them.

From there, the competition will proceed as it has previously, with two-legged clashes all the way through to a one-legged final.

Coefficient plan set to be scrapped too

Meanwhile, the controversial 'back door entry' plan for big clubs that underperformed in any season to squeeze through on their performances in Europe over the previous decade have also been scrapped.

They were seen as a way to ensure revenue streams for top clubs, but would see other deserving clubs miss out despite potentially stellar seasons. Instead, these places will now go to the two countries that performed the best in Europe that particular season.

That would mean that, taking this season as an example, extra places would go to a team in England and a team in the Netherlands after their strong showing across the three European competitions.

It remains to be seen just how far this idea differs from the Super League, with plenty of extra revenue now in the pocket for the clubs in exchange for excessive game time for players that in some cases already play 50 games per season.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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