Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Fans can’t agree over changes to Champions League format for 2024/25

A new format for the 2024/25 UEFA Champions League has been announced by European football’s main governing body.

The competition will be extended from 32 to 36 teams, with the group stage format replaced by a single league competition.

Fans on social media have had mixed reactions to the announcement. Take a look at the reaction here.

“Absolutely terrible” – Negative reaction to new Champions League format

The new format will mean more games for Europe’s elite teams, when fixture congestion is a consistent talking point in modern football. Teams will now play eight matches in the new league phase, which is replacing the former group stage format, which consists of six matches.

Journalist and podcaster Matt Davies picked up on this in his assessment of the new competition structure. He said on X (formerly Twitter): “Top players are already playing too many games and now here’s UEFA bleeding more money from the game. Depressing being a football fan sometimes.”

@fplblackbox_az was similarly downbeat about the shift away from the old group stage format, which has been in place since the rebranding of the competition in 1992. He said: “I’m trying not to be “that guy” who’s afraid of change, but this sounds absolutely terrible. The format works so well at the moment, such a dramatic shift feels completely pointless.”

“Less dead rubbers” – Excitement about new Champions League format

The reaction to the new UEFA Champions League format was not completely negative. Some pundits and fans alike have complained about the lack of head-to-head matches between the favourites for the competition until the latter stages. The lack of regular matches between the likes of Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, for example, has been a major issue for certain fans, which is a key reason for the change in format.

@rajsinghchohan on X said: “Looks class. Less dead rubbers. And teams being drawn to play vs two pot 1 teams & two pot 2 teams means we’ll see the best teams play each other more regularly. For example, it’s baffling/annoying to me that we haven’t seen Real Madrid vs Bayern since 2018 in the current format.”

@PlMundo in reply to Raj Chohan on X was similarly buoyant about the future of the competition with the announcement. @PlMundo said: “That’s the point. Football is business, and in business, you give what the clients want the most. I feel for the “tradition” being put aside but that’s how things are…”

New UEFA Champions League 2024/25 format explained

As mentioned above, the current Champions League format consists of 32 teams, split into eight groups of four. From next season, four extra clubs will be added, and the 36 teams will participate in a single league competition.

Clubs will play eight different opponents in the league phase, with four at home and four away. Four seeding pots will be drawn to decide who the clubs will face in their eight matches. Each team will be drawn to play two opponents from each of the four pots, playing one match against a team from each pot at home, and one away.

From here, a single league table will be formed, with the top eight sides qualifying for the round of 16. Teams that finish 9th to 24th after the eight matches will enter a two-legged knock-out play-off phase. Teams ranked 25th or lower will be eliminated from the competition.

The new format is fully explained by Ayo Akinwolere in the video below, released by UEFA on their various social media channels.


Will Murray

Freelance football journalist. Experience writing for When Saturday, Comes, Goalkeeper.com, Elite Scholars and Total Football Analysis. Recently finished an MA in Sport Journalism at the University of Brighton. Long-time season ticket holder at the two-time European Champions Nottingham Forest.

Articles: 176