Champions League change

The Champions League looked set to be changing its format from the current incarnation of a group stage period of 6 game weeks followed by a straight knockout between 16 of the qualified clubs.

The changes would have seen the competition expanded from 32 teams to 36 and the group stage period of the competition scrapped in favour of a Swiss model league system. Whereby teams played 5 games at home and 5 games away against opposition within the league based upon the clubs’ seedings.

Champions League revamp hits sticking point over commercial rights

NYON, SWITZERLAND – JULY 18: The UEFA logo is seen on the UEFA Champions League trophy as it is prepared for the UEFA 2014/15 Champions League third qualifying rounds draw at the UEFA headquarters, The House of European Football, on July 18, 2014 in Nyon, Switzerland. (Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images for UEFA)

The top 8 teams would automatically qualify for the last 16 with the teams placed from 9th up to 24th competing in a qualification round to reach the same stage.

From there the competition will continue in the same fashion it has for nearly the last 30 years.

The reason for the change is to revamp the competition and enable more high-profile matches and increase watchability.

Reform in doubt

However, the changes could look set to be delayed because of a discrepancy between UEFA and European Club Association. The ECA, headed up by Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli, supposedly wants more control over how the broadcast and commercial rights are sold than UEFA is willing to allow.

UEFA, headed by Aleksander Čeferin, want to have the most control in the running of the new Champions League with power in vetoing important decisions according to The Athletic.

Champions League revamp hits sticking point over commercial rights

Manchester United’s Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer leaves after the UEFA Champions League Group H football match RB Leipzig v Manchester United in Leipzig, eastern Germany, on December 8, 2020. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN / various sources / AFP) (Photo by ODD ANDERSEN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

There had already been questions over how the additional teams would make up the competition with the idea of historical merit being touted and heavily criticised.

Whether anything can be done is not likely to see resolution any time soon.

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