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UEFA about to propose a new Champions’ League format

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The model is the Swiss Super League, with a new format of group stage and knock-out stage combined in order to increase the appeal of the competition. If approved, the new Champions’ League may commence in 2024.

UEFA is considering restyling the UEFA Champions’ League implementing deep changes in order to increase the appeal of the competition and accommodate the request of TV broadcasters and football team. The new format, having more matches, could increase the revenues of the broadcasters and the teams. The plan has not been finalized and UEFA is still working on it in order to be presented as soon as possible and eventually to implement it before 2024.

However, some amendments have been already made public. First of all, the football teams should increase from 32 to 36. In addition, according to the Telegraph and the Times, the new edition may not have the group stage (usually from September to December phase divided in 8 groups of 4 teams each). Without groups, each club would play 10 games, five at home and five away, against 10 different opponents. The first phase, instead of the current eight rounds, will therefore have 10 matches. At this point, the first sixteen would compete in the knock-out phase, while those who finish between 17th and 24th would be relegated to the Europa League. The pairings would be crossed (first against sixteenth, second with fifteenth, and so on). How the fixture for the groups are decided remains unknown but we presume that will be some sort of ranking followed by a draw in line with what happens in the current Champions’ League.

As mentioned before, this restyling of the competition could come into force from 2024 and is supported by two substantial reasons: to offer more European matches to clubs and broadcasters and to remove the threat of the European Super-league, a project which several European clubs were working on behind UEFA’s back.

According to the rumors, several Spanish, Italian and British teams were working behind the curtain to set up an European league which would have replaced the UEFA competitions as well as the domestic leagues (i.e. La Liga, English Premier League, Serie A and so on). The intent was to organize a competition based on the NBA experience where football teams could increase their incomes. The plan seems to be in an advanced stage with few teams open to bring the discussion to every major football teams in Europe. According to the rumors, TV Broadcasters and investment banks already committed to this plan commencing initial negotiations.

However, this out-of-the-blue proposal from UEFA may disrupt the European Super-league project re-aligning all the major football teams with UEFA idea. As of today, no football teams commented on this project. Discussions will continue over the next weeks, when UEFA will submit the idea to various stakeholders including the European Club Association and the entire amendments will be made officially public in a presentation to every football team. Until then, we can only speculate on what may or may not change. However, for the first time UEFA has decided to give a strong answer to those “rioting” teams which were asking for changes. Let’s see if this proposal is of interest.

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