UEFA has given the go-ahead for a 36-team Champions League reform, including a single league format to replace the group stage.
European football’s main governing body announced several changes to the Champions League on Monday amid reports of a rival Super League formation which could see 12 of the biggest clubs on the continent breakaway.
The changes will come into effect in 2024, with fixtures set to be played on Thursdays instead of Tuesdays and Wednesdays and a play-off round added to the first stage.
UEFA‘s new Champions League reforms
The traditional group stage, which sees four teams compete in eight pools with the top two qualifying for the last 16, will be scrapped in favour of a single league with 36 teams.
All of the fixtures will be drawn out of a pot, with seeding determined by the UEFA coefficient, and the Europa League and Conference League will follow the same format.
Each team will play a total of 10 games home and away, with the top eight automatically qualifying for the last 16 and those finishing between ninth and 24th to compete in two-legged play-offs to decide who else makes the knockout stage.
Teams that finish lower than 24th will exit European competition completely, and the last 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final will all continue with their original format.