The UEFA on Monday approved the new 36-team Champions League format taking effect in the 2024/25 season.
“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 stage including all participating teams.
“Every club will now be guaranteed a minimum of 10 league stage games against 10 different opponents (five home games, five away) rather than the previous six matches against three teams, played on a home and away basis,” the UEFA said in a statement.
The European football’s governing body added that the top eight clubs in the league would automatically advance to the knockout stage while the clubs completing in ninth to 24th spot would compete in a two-legged playoff to advance to the last 16 of the competition.
Similar format changes will also be applied to the UEFA Europa League (eight matches in the league stage) and the UEFA Europa Conference League (six matches in the league stage).
“Subject to further discussions and agreements, these two competitions may also be expanded to a total of 36 teams each in the league stage. The Champions League qualifying will continue to be open and earned through a team’s performance in domestic leagues,” it said.
The club that ranked third in the championship of the association in the fifth place in the UEFA national association ranking will be given an additional place, according to the football body.
“Another will be awarded to a domestic champion by extending from four to five the number of clubs qualifying via the so-called Champions Path.”
The UEFA noted that the final two places would go to the clubs with the highest club coefficient over the last five years, which not qualified for the group stage of the Champions League but have qualified either for the Champions League qualification phase, the Europa League or the Europa Conference League.