Liverpool was able to qualify for the Champions League despite finishing in fifth place, with the new system being discussed.

New Champions League format explained as Liverpool managed to qualify despite falling short in 5th place


The new ‘Switzerland’ model will be introduced for the 2024/25 season – and it should benefit Premier League teams, fill UEFA coffers and play many more low-impact games in the autumn


Either Manchester City or Inter Milan will enter the Champions League as defending champions next season, but it appears to be the final season of the competition as we know it.

From 2024 to 2025, UEFA’s new “Swiss” format will be introduced and the planned changes have already drawn mixed opinions.

It will mean more games for players who are already close to breaking point, but the governing body, which approved the proposals at a meeting in Vienna last season, predicts it will lead to a 33% increase in revenue of the competition.

The usual suspects will face off next spring, but UEFA’s grand plan calls for more autumn games and a longer path to separate the wheat from the chaff. What happens from 2024 to 2025? There will be 36 participating teams, instead of 32, who will play 189 matches instead of the current 125 in an extended competitive phase that will replace the group stage


Each team plays eight games, four at home and four away against different opponents. The top eight teams in the league automatically advance to the round of 16, with the teams finishing between ninth and twenty-fourth in a two-legged play-off with top seeds. From there, the competition will proceed as normal


Essentially, there will be more starters before we’re stuck in the flesh, with 160 games needed to reach the last 16.

Who will get the four extra seats? Will more English teams be involved? Four places are guaranteed for Premier League teams and a fifth will almost certainly be invited as well. That’s because two of the four places go to the leagues with the highest aggregate coefficient from last season, meaning one place for England and another for Spain.

Had the changes been made next season it would have meant a place for Liverpool despite their disappointing campaign.

This has not been a popular decision with other league executives, although an initial plan to base it on the coefficient has been shelved for several years. But one of the remaining places goes to the team that finishes third in the league with the fifth highest coefficient. That would come down to France, where the third currently has to pass the qualifying rounds.

And fourth place is reserved for an additional team on the Champions Path side of the qualifier.

Players and head coaches will roll their eyes at the prospect of extra games, but more games mean extra revenue. Broadcasters have to pay more to broadcast additional games. Clubs will deposit more entry fees. Sponsors will pay extra for more opportunities to showcase their logos to audiences in the millions.

The Champions League currently generates €3.6bn (£3.1bn) per season and UEFA competitions director Giorgio Marchetti recently said: “We are working on (both) conservative and more optimistic forecasts in a range I would say between 4.6 billion euros and 4.8 billion euros. billion”.

However, it remains to be seen how the money will be distributed, with talks on this element ongoing.

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