UEFA make ‘thrilling’ announcement set to impact Newcastle United, Man Utd, Liverpool & co

UEFA have revealed what next season’s Champions League, Europa League and Conference League will look like following major reforms.
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European competition will look completely different from the beginning of the 2024/25 season after UEFA revealed how the reformatted Champions League, Europa League and Conference League will look. Gone is the group stage and knockout format which has been a fixture of these competitions in recent times - and instead comes a big league format to then be followed by a knockout round.

All three competitions will adopt this new ‘Swiss model’ with slight variations between the competitions on how it will be implemented. The Champions League and Europa League’s new format will see teams compete in one big 36 team league with each team playing eight matches.

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Teams that qualify for these tournaments will be placed in four pots and play two teams from each pot with four home games and four away games per team. Every match will count towards the league table and after everyone has played eight games, the top eight teams will progress to the round of 16 stage.

Teams that finish between 9th and 24th will face each other in an additional knockout play-off round with the winners of those eight ties progressing to the Round of 16 to meet the eight sides that have already qualified. Teams that finish 25th or below will be knocked out of the competition.

As is the case in the current format, knockout matches will be two-legged affairs culminating in a single-legged final. The Conference League will also follow this whole new format, except teams in that competition will instead be split into six different pots and play just six games, three at home and three away, during the league phase.

A video posted by UEFA explained the new format and explained why the changes have been implemented, describing them as a ‘thrilling new future’ for club football on the continent: ‘In the new league format, every match, every goal, every point and position in the ranking counts. The new system will ensure fast-changing and unpredictable standings. More matches between equally-ranked teams competing for crucial points with fans able to enjoy top clashes right from the first matchday. 2024 a thrilling new future for European club football.’

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Newcastle United currently sit 8th in the Premier League table and have a good chance of qualifying for European competition again next season after returning to continental football for the first time in over a decade earlier this year. Champions League qualification looks like being out of their reach as they currently trail 4th Aston Villa by 15 points with just 11 games of the season to go.

5th place in the Premier League could offer the chance of Champions League qualification, however, that is determined on how successful English clubs are in European competition this season. The Magpies are likely set to battle Manchester United, West Ham, Brighton and Wolves to secure Europa League or Conference League qualification between now and the end of the campaign.

There is also a route into Europe via the FA Cup with the winner of that guaranteed a spot in the Europa League. Newcastle United face reigning holders Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in the next round of that competition, however.