The Champions League‘s revamped group stage will have eight fixtures, rather than a proposed ten, after talks involving UEFA and European clubs.
There had been complaints that the new 36-team league format would lead to fixture congestion but the number of matches in the round-robin phase has been reduced after a compromise was reached. It means that, from 2024, there will be an extra 64 games, rather than the 100 that were proposed in the original reforms.
Another significant change has been made in terms of how two of the 36 teams will be chosen for the group stage. It was suggested that two clubs could qualify from their UEFA club coefficient alone.
However, that led to questions about sporting integrity as these teams wouldn’t have to qualify automatically through their domestic league. Again, a compromise has been agreed, which will see two sides being selected based on their country’s coefficient over the last year. This ranking is based on performance across Europe’s three competitions: the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League. If the new format began next campaign, England and the Netherlands would have got the two additional places.
The revamp of the Champions League will come into effect at the start of the 2024/25 season.