The UEFA Champions League is, without doubt, one of the most exciting competitions in the footballing world. And for years now, it has followed a clear and precise format. However, things are about to change. For better or for worse, I let you decide.
According to reports, The European Club Association (ECA) is set to revamp the whole format after the 2023-2024 season.
As you all are aware of the current format – 8 groups of 4 teams each, with clubs playing 6 group games – the ECA proposes a 4 group with 8 teams. Meaning, clubs would play 14 groups games.
Not only that, there would be a promotion/relegation system. The 24 clubs that qualify for the next round will automatically qualify for the next season. The clubs would have to fight it out for the remaining 8 spots.
If this was not enough, it is also believed that the competition could also be played during the weekends. Hence disturbing the domestic competitions of all the leagues.
Yesterday, Aleksander Ceferin, the Uefa president, denied Europe’s governing body had held any discussions over staging European club football at the weekend. “We haven’t discussed weekends, just to clear that up once and for all,” Ceferin told Press Association Sport.
Oh, and the qualifying for the top 4 would no longer guarantee a spot in the competition. Thus making a closed competition and restricting “smaller” clubs a chance to qualify for the event. This would mean that the selected clubs, irrespective of their league position, would be playing in the competition as if it was their right, which is clearly not. The spot has to be earned.
The Bundesliga has already discussed legal actions if their season from 2024-2025 is altered because of more fixtures for the clubs as a result of this competition.
Another meeting is scheduled in May between the ECA and Ceferin, where the revamping of the Champions League will be on agenda.