UEFA announces 36-team Champions League system from 2024-25

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As Liverpool and Real Madrid prepare for the UEFA Champions League final, the new 36-team system was announced ahead of its 2024/25 rollout.

32 teams started the competition but now only two remain as the Merseyside side take on La Liga giants to become Europe’s number one.

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However, UEFA recently announced that European teams will have a much broader level of competition over the next two years as four more teams are set to be added to Europe’s top competition.

UEFA recently approved changes that will see 36 clubs take part in the Champions League from 2024/25.

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In this new format, each team will play eight games over 10 game weeks.

There was a plan to award two Champions League spots to individual clubs based on their European performances to date, but this has since been abandoned.

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Two of those four new spots will instead be awarded based on their performances in Europe over the past season.

Third place goes to the country’s third-placed league team, which is fifth in their rankings. At the moment this team is participating in the third qualifying round instead of qualifying automatically.

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UEFA also confirmed that fourth place would go to a country’s national champion. This increases the number of teams qualifying through the Champions Path from four to five clubs.

Liverpool celebrate victory in 2019 and look to win again in 2022

Champions Path is UEFA’s name for the qualifying process for domestic champions who do not automatically advance to the group stage.

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UEFA added that “similar format changes will also be applied to the Europa League (eight league stage games) and Europa Conference League (six league stage games) and both will also feature 36 teams in the league stage.”

Here’s everything you need to know about the new proposed changes…

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What did UEFA say?

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said triumphantly: “The dream of participating will remain for all clubs.

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“UEFA clearly showed today that we are fully committed to respecting the fundamental values ​​of sport and defending the key principles of open competitions, with qualification based on sporting merit and fully in line with the European sport model based on values ​​and solidarity .

“We believe the format chosen strikes the right balance and improves the competitive balance and generates solid revenues that can be distributed to clubs, leagues and grassroots football across our continent while increasing the attractiveness and popularity of our club competitions.”

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He added that the new format has been approved by UEFA’s executive board along with approval from Europe’s leagues and national associations.

Ceferin said: “Qualification remains purely about sporting performance and the dream of participating remains for all clubs.”

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How does the new format work?

At the moment, in the first phase of the Champions League, all 32 teams are divided into eight groups of four and each team plays one home and one away game against each other.

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With the new system, there will be a single league table with all teams in the initial phase.

Each club will then play eight league games against different opponents, with four home games and four away games.

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The top eight then advance straight to the knockout stages, while those ranked ninth through 24 battle it out in a two-legged play-off.

How many Premier League clubs qualify?

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Five clubs from the English Premier League are expected to be represented in the Champions League from 2024.

Had the new system been in place for the past five seasons, England would have gained an extra place in all but one campaign.

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In truly exceptional circumstances, up to seven English teams could potentially qualify via the revised model in a single season – the top four in the Premier League, a fifth-placed team thanks to the country coefficient, and winners of the Champions League and Europa League – but would have to do all of that be different clubs.

What did the ECA say?

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The European Club Association represents over 240 European clubs and has awarded its seal of approval to UEFA.

A statement said the changes: “mean the redesigned competitions will have the best start in life, the result of extensive consultations between UEFA and the ECA over a number of years, ensuring that the legitimate interests of all relevant stakeholders are protected.” be respected – driven by collective rather than self-interest.”

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“The new format also offers the opportunity for future growth of European football in a sustainable, responsible and inclusive way.”

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