What Will the New Champions League Be Like?

Let’s take a look at what will no longer be in Europe’s premier club competition.

On 1 June, the Champions League as we know it came to an end. From next season, UEFA will reform the tournament globally, completely changing its entire structure. For those looking to stay updated on sports betting opportunities, click here for reliable information. Let’s take a look at what will no longer be in Europe’s premier club competition.

Briefly: What Will the New Champions League Be Like?

From next season, all three European cups will not have the usual group stages. Instead, there will be one single league table in the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League. Also, the number of participants in all competitions will increase from 32 to 36.

The main point of the reforms is not even the lack of a group stage but the different calendars of all participants. Previously, 32 clubs were divided into 8 groups, so four teams had the same schedule. Two teams from each group of four would make the playoffs. It’s a fair system, but it often made the group stage boring. There was a minimum of top-seeding, and for some teams, the last rounds were a formality.

Now it will be different: each team will play 8 matches on the main stage with various opponents. Before the autumn stage, UEFA will hold a draw, where the clubs» schedules will be known. The probability that two clubs will have the same opponents is now minimal.

This is not a new scheme: the structure with different calendars is actively used in North America, for example, in the MLS or university football. It is partly unfair – some will be drawn against more vigorous opponents, while others will have an easier time.

To solve this problem, UEFA has expanded the playoffs. Now, in the spring stage, not 16 clubs but the first 24 in the standings will be held. The top eight will immediately advance to the 1/8 finals, and another 16 will advance to the knockout round, which will be held in February.

Even two wins out of 8 in the main stage will be enough to qualify for the playoffs. And 8-9 points would guarantee a place in the top-24 with an extremely high probability. The spectators will have to get used to these changes, and definitely, someone will remain dissatisfied.

How Will the Opponents in the Group Stage Be Determined?

The draw for the main stage will take place on 29 August in Switzerland. As we have already said, the organizers will now determine not the composition of the groups but the opponents for all teams. There are no details yet on how the ceremony will take place, but the rules are already in place:

– all 36 clubs will be divided into four baskets according to their points in the UEFA ranking;

– the clubs will play two matches against two representatives from each basket;

– each team can play a maximum of two games against representatives from the same country;

– clubs from the same country may only play each other when no other options are possible;

– each club may play a maximum of two consecutive away or home games.

Because of this, viewers are definitely in for some top contests. It used to be impossible to imagine City playing Bayern Munich and Real Madrid playing PSG in a group. Now, such pairings will fall every year. The loss of points in each meeting can be critical for the standings.

Are There Any Changes in the Playoffs?

Every match or goal can affect a team’s place in the standings. This is important not only because of which stage of the playoffs the tops will play from. From now on, every final spot in the Champions League will also affect the play-off grid. UEFA has adapted this structure from tennis.

The top two teams in the group stage will only be able to play each other in the LCH final. And against the 3rd and 4th teams of the tournament, they will meet only in the semi-finals. If, of course, they reach the semi-finals.

In the 1/8 finals, the first and second team teams in autumn will meet the two clubs with the worst seeding that made it through from the play-offs. In the quarter-finals, they will face either the 7th and 8th teams on the main stage or those who knocked them out. The entire playoff grid will be known before the 1/8 finals start on 21 February.

The play-off draw is necessary for two reasons. Firstly, UEFA should try to prevent clubs from the same country from crossing over in the first rounds of the play-offs. Secondly, the draw is not only a ceremony but also a great TV slot for advertisers. After all, it will be watched by millions.