The number of clubs participating in the Champions League will increase from 32 to 36, as confirmed by the UEFA in a series of changes set to be implemented from 2024-25. Instead of pooling 32 clubs across eight groups, the new format will see all 36 teams in a single league. Each club will play eight matches in the league stage. 

Further, the criteria of awarding two slots to teams based on their previous performance in European competitions has been scrapped. Instead, two added slots will go to the clubs of two nations with the highest UEFA coefficients in the previous season.

For instance, if the rules are implemented today, England and the Netherlands will get an extra slot for the Champions League. 

“UEFA has clearly shown today that we are fully committed to respecting the fundamental values of sport and to defending the key principle of open competitions, with qualification based on sporting merit, fully in line with the values and solidarity-based European sports model,” UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said.

The fourth slot in the competition will be allocated to a country ranked fifth in Europe, while a domestic champion who failed to qualify directly will complete the last remaining slot. 

What Will Be Different In The Champions League From 2024?

The current format in place was adopted by the UEFA in 2003. Four teams across eight groups play six matches in the league stage, followed by a round of 16, which constitutes the top two clubs from each group. The knockouts are two-legged ties, played at home and away. 

But come 2024-25, the top eight clubs from the league stage will earn a direct qualification to the next round, while the clubs placed between 9th and 24th will have to play two-legged knockout ties to advance to the last 16. 

There will be 96 games in the league phase in total, set to be played in 10 weeks. The same format will apply to both Europa League and Europa Conference League. 

The UEFA also confirmed the tournament opener of the Euro 2024 will be played at Allianz Arena, while the final will be staged in Berlin.