UEFA have today officially announced the new approved format of European competitions that will come into place as of the 2024-25 season.
On their official website, UEFA have explained how the new format will look for the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League, which will now actually be a ‘league’ system rather than being divided into groups of four as before.
Taking the total number of teams from 32 to 36 in the UEFA Champions League, the biggest change will see a transformation from the traditional group stage to a single league phase including all participating teams.
Every club will now be guaranteed a minimum of 8 league stage games against 8 different opponents (four home games, four away) rather than the previous six matches against three teams, played on a home-and-away basis.
The top eight sides in the league will qualify automatically for the knockout stage, while the teams finishing in ninth to 24th place will compete in a two-legged play-off to secure their path to the last 16 of the competition.
Similar format changes will also be applied 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 include 36 teams in the league phase.