UEFA stated, the European Champions League will see a surge of 4 teams to 36 and the present group stage replaced by one single league from the 2024/25 season.
The refurbishment of European football’s premier club tournaments will see each team play 8 league games — 4 home and 4 away — as opposed to 6 in the group stage.
The top 8 teams in the league will qualify instinctively for the knockout stage, whilst the teams ending in 9th to 24th place will compete in a two-legged play-off to book their path to the last 16 of the tournament.
“We are convinced that the format chosen strikes the right balance and that it will improve the competitive balance and generate solid revenues that can be distributed to clubs, leagues and into grassroots football across our continent,” stated UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.
Ceferin and UEFA will be anticipating the reforms — passed mutually by their executive board — will be implemented once and for all any thought of the agitator Super League making a reappearance.
Twelve of Europe’s biggest clubs signed up to the suggested new competition last April however it slumped within days after a wild recoil from their own players and fans, as well as governments and football’s governing bodies.
Nine clubs dissociated from the project however Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus remain on board.
UEFA had retreated following consulting with various parties — counting supporters — from having 10 league games and allocating 2 of the 4 new places to teams based on club number.
The 4 places will go to the club ranked third in the championship of the association in 5th position in the UEFA national association ranking.
Another will be given to a domestic champion by extending from 4 to 5 the number of clubs qualifying through the ‘Champions Path’.
The final 2 places will be given to the associations with the best collective performance by their clubs in the previous season (total number of points earned divided by the number of participating clubs).
Those 2 associations if it had been judged on this season based on the collective performance of their clubs would be England and the Netherlands.
Similar format modifications will also be applicable to the UEFA Europa League (8 matches in the league stage) and UEFA Europa Conference League (6 matches in the league stage) and both will also involve 36 teams in the league phase.
Ceferin celebrated in the moment of succeeding in pushing through the reforms.
“I am really pleased that it was a unanimous decision of the UEFA Executive Committee, with the European Club Association, European Leagues and National Associations all agreeing with the proposal made,” stated Ceferin.
“Another proof that European football is more united than ever.”
“Qualification will thus remain purely based on sporting performance and the dream to participate will remain for all clubs.”