Executive Committee UEFA at a meeting in Vienna, adopted the final format and qualification schemes for European competitions starting from the 2024/25 season, confirming the decision to introduce swiss system in European competition.
Some of the major changes include reducing the number of appearances from 10 to 8 in the general stage of the Champions League and changing the allocation criteria for two of the four extra Champions League berths when club coefficients are no longer taken into account.
8 rounds of the Champions League will be played over 10 European Cup weeks. One week each from the European Cup calendar will be given exclusively to the Champions League, the Europa League and the Conference League.
The UEFA Executive Committee has confirmed that all matches up to the final will continue to be played mid-week, recognizing the importance of the domestic competition calendar across Europe.
4 additional tours to the general stage of the Champions League, which will appear after the increase in the number of participants from 32 to 36, will be distributed as follows:
- One place will go to the club that finishes third in the championship of the association ranked fifth in the UEFA rankings.
- One seat will go to the national champion who qualifies for the Champions Path, as the number of vouchers will increase from four to five.
- The remaining two places will go to the associations with the best average score from the previous European season (total points divided by the number of representatives of the association). These associations delegate to the tournament the club that finished just behind the clubs that made it to the Champions League through the championship. For example, at the end of this season, England and the Netherlands would have received such additional vouchers.
New Champions League Format
- The number of participants in the Champions League will increase from 32 to 36 teams.
- Instead of the usual group stage, all participants will play in a single league, and opponents will be determined by Swiss system.
- If earlier each club played 6 matches against three teams (home and away), now each will play in the general stage 8 matches against eight rivals (4 at home, 4 away).
- The 8 strongest clubs (places from 1st to 8th) will automatically advance to the playoffs, to the 1/8 final stage
- Teams ranked from 9th to 24th will take part in two-legged play-offs for the right to play in the 1/8 finals.
Similarly, the format will also change Europa League (8 matches in the general stage) and Conference leagues (6 matches in the general stage). At the general stage, 36 teams will also play in both tournaments.
President of UEFA Alexander Cheferin commented on the decisions made:
“UEFA made it clear today that we remain fully committed to respecting the core values of sport and upholding the key principle of openness in our competitions based on sporting excellence. This is fully consistent with the values and model of European sport, which is based on the principles of solidarity.
Today’s decisions draw a line under an extensive consultation process in which we have listened to the opinions of fans, players, coaches, national associations, clubs and leagues and many others in order to find the best solution for the development and success of European football, both domestically and internationally. club tournaments.
We are convinced that the chosen format strikes the right balance, promotes competitiveness and generates significant revenues to be distributed to clubs, leagues and grassroots in Europe, while enhancing the appeal and popularity of our club competitions. Thus, qualifying for the tournament will depend strictly on sports performance, and all clubs will be able to fulfill the dream of participating in it.
I am very pleased that the UEFA Executive Committee unanimously adopted this decision, which was approved by the European Club Association, European leagues and national associations. This is further proof that European football is united like never before.”