European Leagues on Friday revealed that UEFA will decide next week on a revised format for the Champions League which will likely overhaul Europe’s top football competition from 2024.
The president of a body which brings together professional leagues and club associations from 30 European nations, Lars-Christer Olsson, told reporters that UEFA would make its decision “during its executive committee on (Wednesday) March 31”.
Olsson said the meeting will be preceded the previous day by a “club competitions commission” charged with defining the details of the reforms.
Among the potential changes are an increase of participating clubs from 32 to 36 and the end of the current group stage, in which teams are divided up into eight sets of four.
The new pre-knockout stage would consist of one single table with clubs taking part in a so-called ‘Swiss system’ inspired by chess, in which teams play 10 matches instead of the current six.
One of the four new entrants is expected to be a fourth team from France’s Ligue 1, and one of the key issues regarding the new format is how to decide on the other three.
European Leagues would prefer the new places to be assigned to champions from other leagues while there is also a move to admit teams on the basis of their UEFA coefficient — which would favour clubs with a strong European history who have had poor domestic seasons.
Managing director Jacco Swart said European Leagues proposed a compromise that would see the number of pre-knockout games per club cut to eight from the proposed 10.