Tuesday March 30 2021
Champions League format changes delayed

A decision over the new Champions League format from 2024-25 has been postponed to April 19 after a handful of big clubs reportedly made extra demands.

The plan was meant to be ratified in tomorrow’s meeting, but has now been delayed to April 19.

According to the New York Times, this is because some of the top clubs want control over the commercial rights of the Champions League.

UEFA had been prepared to go 50/50, although that is not enough for some of the sides, especially those who are continuing to push for a European Super League.

The project is for the Champions League to realistically become more akin to a Super League, removing group stages in favour of a single league table.

There will be 36 teams rather than 32, and the winners will end up playing at least 17 matches, four more than under the current format.

It will be one 36-team table, with each side playing 10 games, five at home and five away.

Even here, there will be a draw and seeding, as not everyone will play each other.

At the end of these 10 games, the eight clubs with the most points advance straight to the knockout stage.

The bottom 12 are eliminated, whereas those from places 9-16 in the table would be drawn into home and away play-offs with teams that finished in the 17-24 slots.

The eight winners of those play-offs would then go into the 16-team knockout round.

In keeping with the Super League ideas, there would be a couple of places guaranteed for ‘legacy clubs’ who otherwise didn’t qualify.

The changes would not be implemented until 2024-25, assuming of course they are ratified.