UEFA Champions League 2024/25 New Format Explained

The most prestigious club competition in Europe the UEFA Champions League, is about to undergo a major shakeup after many years. 

Following the announcement of the Super League, UEFA has come up with its own version of the Super League. 

After decades of the familiar group stage format, the 2024/25 season brings a significant shake-up: a single league phase replacing the group stage.

Key Points: UEFA Champions League 2024/25 New Format

  • League stage: Single league replaces groups, 36 teams play 8 matches each (4 home, 4 away).
  • Knockouts: Top 8 qualify directly, teams 9th-24th play a playoff, and 25th+ eliminated.
  • Similar changes to the Europa League & Conference League.
  • More competition, and potential for big-money matchups.

New format for Champions League: Everything you need to know

New League format replaces the Group stage with more teams 

Instead of 32, the tournament will now feature 36 clubs, offering four additional opportunities to compete against Europe’s elite. All 36 clubs will participate in a single league competition in which all 36 competing clubs are ranked together.

Teams no longer play three opponents twice. Instead, they encounter eight different opponents, four at home and four away.

All the 8 teams will be different, out of which 2 will be hard the next 2 less harder & 2 easy & 2 easiest hence with each level difficulty keeps decreasing (i.e, 2 teams from POT 1, 2 teams from POT 2, 2 teams from Pot 3 and 2 teams from POT 4)

Teams will be ranked based on the points they accumulate, with three points for a win and one for a draw.

Knockout Stages 

The top eight ranked teams directly advance to the round of 16. Teams ranked 9th to 24th will play a two-legged knockout phase playoff for the remaining spots. Teams that finish 25th or lower will be eliminated, with no access to the UEFA Europa League. 

From the round of 16 onwards, the competition will continue to follow its existing format of knockout rounds leading to the final staged at a neutral venue selected by UEFA.

All games before the final will continue to be played in midweek, while the final will continue to be played on a Saturday.

Changes in Europa League and Conference League 

Similar format changes, with a league phase and increased teams, are being implemented in the Europa League (eight matches) and the newly named Europa Conference League (six matches).

How will the additional 4 group stage spots be allocated? 

Qualification for the Champions League will continue in a similar format as previous season, depending on the club’s final position in the previous season’s domestic league competition combined with each association’s position in the association club coefficient ranking.

The additional four slots available in 2024/25 will be allocated as follows:

Slot one:

This place will go to the club ranked third in the championship of the association in fifth position in the access list, which is determined by the UEFA Association club coefficient ranking.

Slot two:

This place will be awarded to a domestic champion by extending from four to five the number of clubs qualifying via the Champions path of the competition’s qualifying process, which will consist of four qualifying rounds.

Slots three and four:

These places will go to the associations with the best collective performance by their clubs in the previous season. Those two associations will each earn one automatic place in the league phase (‘European Performance Spot’) for the club ranked next-best in their domestic league behind those clubs that have already qualified directly for the league phase.

Will the Revenue distribution change?

The reason why Europe’s top club were demanding for a change is because of the revenue sharing model, the clubs weren’t happy about the way UEFA distributed the revenue.

There is no clarity on whether there will be a new revenue distribution as there will be more money produced but will it trickle down more to the clubs as well? there’s no clarity on FFP changes if any due to a possible new revenue distribution.


As the new format unfolds, its impact on the Champions League, its clubs, fans, and the wider footballing landscape will be closely observed.

While traditionalists may find adjusting to the changes challenging, the increased competition and potential for exciting matchups promise to keep the Champions League at the forefront of the global sporting scene.

What do you think?

Written by TackleFromBehind

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