EPL may have 5 teams in the Champions League from 2024
The English Premier League, La Liga, and Serie A could receive five spots in the UEFA Champions League when UEFA announces the new format for the 2024-2025 season.
On July 10th, UEFA sent a letter to all member associations explaining the updated changes in determining the clubs for the competition when the new Champions League format is implemented from the 2024-2025 season.
The most significant change relates to the allocation of four additional spots in the group stage. Starting from the 2024-2025 season, the number of teams participating in the Champions League will increase to 36, instead of the current 32. One of those additional spots will be given to the association ranked fifth in the UEFA coefficient rankings over the past five years. The second spot will go to the association of the previous season’s Champions League winner.
This means that the English Premier League would have five spots in the Champions League schedule if this regulation is applied from the 2023-2024 season. Last season, Manchester City defeated Inter Milan 1-0 in the final, thanks to Rodri’s goal.
The remaining two out of the four additional spots will be allocated to the associations with the best performances across all UEFA competitions in the previous season. Spanish newspaper AS comments that this change will give smaller nations an extra chance to qualify for the Champions League if their clubs perform well in the Europa League or Conference League.
UEFA has made changes to the Champions League format partly in response to the threat posed by the Super League. These changes are expected to make top national leagues more competitive in securing the fifth spot in the Champions League group stage.
Starting from the 2024-2025 season, the Champions League fixtures will consist of 36 teams and follow a “Swiss model” format, similar to chess and some esports. The participating teams will be seeded based on their past performance.
In the first round, the first-ranked team will face the 36th-ranked team, the second-ranked team will face the 35th-ranked team, and so on. In the second round, the winners of the first round will face each other, the draws will face each other, and the losers will face each other. The higher-ranked teams will have more challenging matchups as the tournament progresses, creating more high-stakes clashes.
After 10 rounds, the top eight teams will advance directly to the Round of 16. The next 16 teams will compete in a playoff to determine the remaining eight teams for the Round of 16. Teams ranked 17th to 24th will move down to the Europa League, while the bottom 12 teams will be eliminated.
The 2023-2024 season will be the final season for the Champions League to be played under the current format. The competition will start with the qualifying rounds on June 27th to determine the final six clubs to enter the group stage. After confirming the 32 clubs, UEFA will conduct the group stage draw on August 31st. Clubs from the same national association will be kept apart in the group stage. The Champions League final for the next season will take place at Wembley Stadium in London on June 1st, 2024.
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