Champions League

Champions League reformation could be completed by end of March

By Sean Walsh
UEFA could approve plans for a 36-team Champions League sooner rather than later
UEFA could approve plans for a 36-team Champions League sooner rather than later / David Ramos/Getty Images

Plans for reformation to the Champions League could be agreed by the end of March, with the competition set to feature 36 teams from 2024.

Rumblings that Europe's elite clubs are prepared to break away and form a European Super League have been ongoing for a number of years, but these plans could end that talk.

European Clubs' Association chairman Andrea Agnelli (who is also the chairman of Juventus) expects the last issues regarding the allocation of the four new places awarded to be resolved by the end of March.

Andrea Agnelli
Agnelli has praised the proposals of reformation / Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

“I think we’re very close to my ideal Champions League," Agnelli said, as reported by the Guardian.

“I think it will provide great opportunities for those teams participating in that competition. It will provide the knockouts that are the essence of any competition. It’s very, very close to an ideal Champions League. We’re maybe just a couple of weeks away.

“My attention for quite a long time has been to make sure we find a solution with UEFA. We had fights with [UEFA president Alexander Ceferin] in the autumn months because we wanted to find the balance between continental and domestic competition. It’s [about] having a balanced competitive landscape.”

These reformation plans have been credited to former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, who now serves as Ajax's chief executive.

Edwin Van Der Sar
Van der Sar had a big part to play in the proposals / Soccrates Images/Getty Images

The Champions League's current group stage format of eight groups of four teams would be completely overhauled. Instead, each of the 36 sides will play 10 matches against teams of varying quality, decided by UEFA coefficient.

Each club will feature in a single table, which will decide who advances to the knockout stages (along with some play-off fixtures).

It's believed that the Premier League could gain an extra qualification spot as a result of the expansion.

Agnelli also suggested that rules could be introduced which would prevent clubs competing in the Champions League from doing transfer business with each other, which we're sure would go down a treat.