Revolution ! From 2024, goodbye to the traditional group stage of the Champions League. UEFA has just officially validated this major change. Another novelty, an additional place for a French club in the future.
The groups of four teams, with two qualified per pool, is almost over. This Tuesday, May 10, 2022, UEFA confirmed that the Champions League, as well as the Europa League and the Europa League Conference, will all change format in two years. Concretely, 36 teams will be qualified for the first phase against 32 currently. They will be divided into four mini-leagues with four home matches and as many away. The eight best formations will see the eighth, the others will have to go through dams. Mini-championship also adopted for the C3 and C4. But that’s not all.
Third place in Ligue 1 will lead to the Champions League
⚽ The #UEFAExCo has approved the final format and access list for UEFA club competitions from the 2024/25 season.
✅ No more access granted based on club coefficients.
✅ Eight matches instead of ten in the new league phase.
— UEFA (@UEFA) May 10, 2022
In its reforms, UEFA will send the third of the 5th country in the UEFA index, currently Ligue 1, directly to the Champions League, without going through a third preliminary round or a play-off, as is the case for the moment. Real good news for the French Championship. As a bonus, the two countries whose clubs will be the most successful in Europe will offer two additional places in C1 to non-qualified formations, just to highlight the history and prestige of certain clubs. With this rule, Manchester United could have been qualified despite their 5th or 6th place, which still looks like a Super League…
All these changes will come into effect during the 2024-2025 season. In other words, France will have to stay in fifth place in the UEFA rankings next year if they want to take advantage of their three representatives in the Champions League in stride. Initially, ten days were mentioned in the first phase. There will finally be two less… but two more than historically (6). It remains to be seen whether these redesigns will really bring the desired attractiveness. In any case, the L1 could benefit from it. This famous third place synonymous with C1 will it allow certain clubs to strengthen themselves in a consistent way? To be continued.