New Champions League Plans Reveal Potential 'Major Shake-Up' To UEFA's Competition
UEFA is planning to propose a major shake-up to the existing Champions League format in response to the threat of a potential breakaway 'European Super League.'
Europe's football governing body has faced the possibility of seeing the biggest sides in the continent competing in a 16-team tournament that could begin as early as 2021.
According to The Times, one of the preferred options for the tournament revamp could see clubs playing against 10 different sides in the group stage.
The proposed model, which is known as the 'Swiss system,' could come into effect from 2024 should UEFA push ahead with its major shake-up plans.
The Champions League could have 32 or 36 clubs competing in a single division, but that doesn't mean every team would play against one another.
The Times reports that a draw would be made and would hand each club 10 matches to play.
The tournament would have a seeding system, meaning that five of the 10 matches would be played home while the other five would be away clashes.
The Champions League's current format has 32 teams broken into eight groups of four, playing each team twice (home and away) before heading into the knockout stages.
However, the revamped format would increase fixtures in the Champions League by four.
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And The Times has claimed that English clubs would "almost certainly" have to drop out of the League Cup to make room for the extra Champions League fixtures.
According to reports, FA Cup replays could also be scrapped as part of the new Champions League format.
The Swiss system would see the top 16 clubs qualify from the group stage and move on to the knockout stages.
The first-place team would face the 16th side, while second would play 15th, third would come up against 14th and so on.
Teams that finished in the bottom part of the group stage -- from 17th to 24th -- would head into the knockout rounds of the Europa League.
Clubs that reach the Champions League quarter-finalists could automatically qualify for the competition in the following season, according to reports.
The Times added that UEFA plans to present its proposals for the new Champions League format to European football officials over the next fortnight.
Lars-Christer Olsson, chairman of the European Leagues association that covers 29 nations, has claimed that the 'Swiss system' is favoured over the proposal by the European Club Association last year (which would feature four groups of eight teams).
"The new proposals are much more realistic than the one in 2019 but what is important is protecting the access list to all the European competitions and ensuring the gap in financial distribution is not widened between the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League," he told The Times.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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