The UEFA has plans to change the format of the Champions League. The Telegraph reports that the European footballing government has ‘radical plans’ to change the competition from the 2024-25 season. At this moment 32 teams enter the Champions League each season but the UEFA is considering to change this to 36. The structure of the tournament could also be altered as the UEFA has the plan to change the number of groups or change the number of group matches.
The proposal has already been discussed with some of the major clubs in Europe and according to the report they are all positive and ready to support the plans. The Telegraph suggests that there are two models the UEFA are considering for a Champions League with 36 clubs. In the first model the group stage has six groups of six teams, each playing a home and away match.
The second model is very different as this will skip the group stage structure. Here the 36 teams will not be divided into seperate groups but the 36 teams will play as some kind of league. Each team will play ten matches against ten different opponents. These matches will be drawn based on club’s UEFA coefficients, making it possible for clubs to play the same type of clubs.
Most clubs in the Champions League would like to get rid of the current set-up of the tournament and it has been suggested that the clubs favour towards the second model. This would guarantee more big matches during the first stage of the tournament, which will increase revenues from tv-rights and matchday income. A decision for the new tournament structure is not expected to be made soon and the models will be discussed further at a UEFA conference next year.