UEFA to outline new format for Champions League to avoid breakaway European Super League threat

UEFA has announced plans to propose a change to the current format of the Champions League from 2024 in a meeting of its 55 national association members on Tuesday.

This is the hope of the governing body in averting the threat of a breakaway European Super League as it would guarantee clubs more games and revenue.

The new format would shoot up the number of clubs partaking in the competition to 36 from the current 32 with each team guaranteed at least 10 games against different opponents and the current group stages replaced by a single league based on the so-called “Swiss model”.

The body that represents domestic leagues across Europe believes this system is “an improvement compared to more radical proposals that emerged in 2019” however, there are still “strong concerns” on the impact of more matchdays on domestic competitions.

The European League’s mission is to ensure that the competitive balance between and within domestic competitions is balanced and with the accommodation of an additional four games in the autumn likely to be a challenge for many leagues, including England where the Carabao Cup’s future could be under severe threat.

The proposal has been discussed by members of the European Leagues group which is made up of 37 competitions from 30 different countries including England’s Premier League.

Under the new proposals, it is believed that three clubs will qualify based on their UEFA co-efficient which looks at past performance, meaning European heavyweights such as Manchester United and Real Madrid could still qualify even if they missed out on qualification via the conventional route.

Qualification for the last 16 would also be changed so that the top eight teams in the 36-team league would automatically reach the knockout phase, while the next 16 teams in the table would playoff for the final eight places.

Altogether there would be 225 matches in the competition compared to 125 now.

Reports also suggest that various views were expressed when the proposals were put to shareholders during a Premier League meeting last week.

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