The Champions League format may be transformed for the 2024-25 season. The League’s proposed new format, known as the “Swiss system”, calls for an increase of tournament games from 125 to 225 games.
Will UEFA Transform the Champions League?
UEFA has announced plans which may change the existing format of the UEFA Champions League. The debate regarding the transformation started with a meeting with European domestic leagues yesterday and will continue next week. A part of the changes which may be implemented includes the increase of the teams within the group stage from 32 to 36.
Furthermore, if the proposal is accepted, the number of tournament games may jump from 125 to 225 games. In other words, the current Champion’s League system may be transformed to a new format, known as the “Swiss system”. Considering that the changes are yet to be discussed further and nothing is certain for the moment, if any changes are agreed upon, they may be implemented for the 2024-25 season at the earliest.
Increasing the number of games would also mean that UEFA may not have 96 group-stage games, but 180 games that can be sold to TV broadcasters. Consequently, if approved, the new model may bring increased revenue for the clubs and UEFA as well as an increase in prize money for the prestigious tournament.
However, the European leagues have raised a concern about the match days and when exactly can they fit in the “already very congested calendar”. Adding four games to the group stage of the Champions League may result in those games being played in January or February.
Although the proposals may face rejection and are yet to be discussed, Lars-Christer Olsson, European leagues president and former UEFA president showed support for the transformation back in December. He acknowledged that there is a possibility to “squeeze” four dates. However, Olsson stressed that it is important to determine the effect of those additional games on national matches and added that the changes are still subject to negotiations.