A new Champions League reform model with 36 teams in six groups and different qualifying criteria from 2024 onward is being discussed after a previous model was met with criticism, Germany's Sport Bild weekly reported Wednesday.
Some leagues and clubs have been critical of a first proposal under which 32 teams would play in groups of eight from 2024 onward, because 24 teams would be guaranteed automatic qualification the following season regardless of where they finish in their domestic leagues, and only four slots would be decided based on league results. Sport Bild said that some have discussed the latest proposal, from the French Ligue 1, at a recent European Club Association (ECA) assembly in Malta.
A simulation there based on the past European season revealed that a new Super League would consist almost entirely of clubs from the top five leagues in England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Under the new plan, all quarterfinalists would qualify directly for the following edition, plus the four Europa League semi-finalists, while 18 clubs from the top 10 leagues in the UEFA rankings and six clubs from smaller leagues would complete the field via domestic league results.
Teams would play in groups of six, with the top two from each group and the four best third-placed teams advancing to the knock-outs. A reform summit is set for September 11 when the ruling body UEFA, the ECA and the European Leagues are set to discuss the various models.