UEFA Champions League Photograph:( Twitter )
The UEFA executive committee on Monday approved the Champions League reforms, including a brand new ‘Swiss model’ format, which will come into place in the year 2024. From new format to the rules, here's everything you need to know about the new UCL.
The UEFA executive committee on Monday approved the Champions League reforms, including a brand new ‘Swiss model’ format, which will come into place in the year 2024. As a part of wholescale changes into the UCL, the European competition will consist of 36 instead of the current total of 32.
The development comes after 12 elite football clubs formed a Super League with three more clubs expected to join as co-founders in what will be a 20-team league format tournament among the top European clubs. The move has created an ugly storm on social media as football fans continue to express their outrage on the matter.
The new format -- which will see all 36 clubs brought together into one pool instead of the current system of four-team groups -- was approved at an executive committee meeting of European football's governing body in Switzerland.
Even the new reforms by UEFA for the Champions League have been criticised as it promises new spots for elite clubs who fail to qualify for the UCL.
In an open letter to Agnelli, who recently stepped down as chairman of European Club Association (ECA), fans' groups from several clubs which are represented on the association's board, said: "Your plans to restructure the Champions League by increasing the number of games, introducing qualification based on past achievements, and monopolising commercial rights present a serious threat to the entire game."
Even UEFA president lashed out at Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli: “I have never seen a person lie so many times and as persistently as he did. I spoke with him on Saturday afternoon and he said it is all lies.
"Greed allows all human values to evaporate."
UEFA Champions League 'Swiss model' format - Explained
Under the fresh reforms, new spots will be available for elite clubs that failed to qualify for the tournament. The best eight teams will reach the knockout stages of the tournament while other teams will be able to qualify via a new round of play-off matches.
Notably, every club has been guaranteed as many as 10 matches – which could be a welcome boost to their revenue.
The biggest change in the Champions League format will be the creation of one league instead of many groups.
Interestingly, the European Super League poses a direct threat to the continuation of the Champions League. However, in a statement, the ESL said: "Going forward, the Founding Clubs [of the ESL] look forward to holding discussions with UEFA and FIFA to work together in partnership to deliver the best outcomes for the new League and for football as a whole."
The head of UEFA Aleksander Ceferin said it was "a spit in the face of all football lovers" and reaffirmed that players from clubs involved would be banned from representing their national teams and therefore unable to take part in European Championships or World Cups.
A plan for a breakaway Super League, launched by 12 leading European clubs, is a "disgraceful self-serving proposal from a select few clubs purely fuelled by greed", UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said on Monday.