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The new 36-team format for the Champions League has been officially unveiled by UEFA, despite talks of a breakaway European Super League.
The new and expanded format for Europe’s premier club competition will see clubs switch to a ‘Swiss style’ format.
Each team will play 10 games as part of a league table against teams from four different seeded pots.
The top eight clubs will progress through to the Round of 16, while a play-off will decide who joins them in the knockout stage, which will not change from the current format.
The change in format has been opposed by a number clubs, including Manchester United, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, who have all written a letter of condemnation to ex-ECA chairman Andrea Agnelli.
A statement from UEFA read: "The UEFA Executive Committee today approved a new format for its club competitions as of the 2024/25 season.
"The reforms come after an extensive consultation across the football family and received unanimous backing from the ECA Board and the UEFA Club Competitions Committee (made of a majority of club representatives) last Friday.
"The changes made are designed to secure the positive future of European football at every level and meet the evolving needs of all its stakeholders. Unequivocally confirming joint commitment to the principle of open competition and sporting merit across the continent, the common purpose has also been to sustain domestic leagues."
UEFA president Aleksandr Ceferin added: "This new format supports the status and future of the domestic game throughout Europe as well.
"It retains the principle that domestic performance should be the key to qualification and reconfirms the principles of solidarity right through the game and of open competition.
"This evolved format will still keep alive the dream of any team in Europe to participate in the UEFA Champions League thanks to results obtained on the pitch and it will enable long-term viability, prosperity, and growth for everyone in European football, not just a tiny, self-selected cartel.
"Football is a social and cultural treasure, enriched with values, traditions and emotions shared across our continent.
"As the governing body and responsible stewards of the European game, it is UEFA’s role to safeguard this legacy while leading positive future development of football in Europe for national associations, leagues, clubs, players, and fans at every level.
"This is why we had an extensive consultation process over the last two years which led to the unanimous backing of our proposal and we are convinced that these reforms achieve those objectives".
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Moreover, the announcement comes amid a revolt from 12 of Europe’s biggest clubs to form a breakaway European Super League.
Premier League sides Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham will be joined by AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid, as well as three other founding clubs, to start the league.
The change has seen huge opposition from fans and governing bodies, but the plans are still set to press on as things stand.
- Champions League
- Premier League
- European Super League
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