Critique on the New Champions League Format for 2024-25 Season

Barcelona has been confirmed to be in Pot 1 for the upcoming UEFA Champions League group stage draw due to AS Roma not being in the competition. This change occurred because Atalanta secured a top-four place in Serie A instead of finishing fifth. If Atalanta had finished fifth, Roma would have been able to take their place in the Champions League as Europa League titleholders. However, this shift in positions also affected the placement of other clubs, such as Bologna, who will now benefit from Roma’s placement in the Europa League.

In addition to Atalanta securing their position in the Champions League, Bayer Leverkusen’s loss in the Europa League final also impacted the Pot 1 seeding. Barcelona would have been overtaken by Leverkusen if they had won, but the 3-0 loss to Atalanta solidified Barcelona’s place. As a result, Benfica was promoted into the empty spot in the group stage due to their club coefficient.

The 2024-25 season will see an expanded Champions League format, with 36 teams placed in one league table. This expansion will result in eight matches being played, split evenly between home and away fixtures. The traditional method of drawing teams from Pot 1 has also undergone changes, with a computer now being used for the majority of the draw process. The top eight teams will advance directly to the round of 16, while positions 8 to 24 will compete in a two-legged knockout playoff round.

The draw for the group stage is set to take place on Thursday, Aug. 29, with Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool, Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund, and RB Leipzig all featured in Pot 1. Meanwhile, Pot 2 includes teams like Atletico Madrid, Juventus, and Arsenal, while Pot 4 is likely to feature clubs such as Celtic, AS Monaco, and Aston Villa.

One significant change to note is the elimination of the dropdown into the Europa League. Teams will now either advance to the round of 16, compete in a playoff round, or be eliminated from the Champions League entirely. This adjustment aims to streamline the competition and create a more straightforward path for teams in the tournament.

The upcoming 2024-25 UEFA Champions League season will see several changes to the format, including an expanded competition structure and alterations to the team seeding process. These modifications are designed to make the tournament more competitive and provide fans with exciting matchups throughout the season.


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