Faced with the onslaught of a European Super League, UEFA is preparing to reform the Champions League formula by 2024. The good news for France, the new format chosen could offer it an additional qualifying place.
French football is far from celebrating at the moment. Between the economic crisis affecting all clubs and the defection of Mediapro, finances are in the red. The LFP even calls on the state to help. Good news from UEFA could put a smile on the face of clubs in France. Major news outlets revealed on Tuesday that a new reform of the Champions League is about to emerge. In parallel with creating the 3rd European Cup, called the Conference League, a deadline is scheduled for March for implementation in 2024, and it could bring its share of good surprises.
France is in the process of getting an additional ticket for this new league format. Instead of two places allocated to the first two of the last Ligue 1 campaign, plus the 3rd ticket for the club that qualifies for the third preliminary round (They go straight to the Champions League if the winner of the Europa League has already qualified through their domestic league, as this was the case for Stade Rennais this season), we would arrive at a formula of 3 + 1.
While the top three in Ligue 1 would go directly to the Champions League, the 4th would face two barrage rounds before potentially reaching the final table. To meet this condition, France must maintain its 5th place in the UEFA index by 2023.
France with 4 Tickets?
It is not only France that is impacted since it is the entire competition format that will change. Instead of the 32 entered into eight groups of 4 teams currently, 36 teams would play in the form of a championship. Each of them will play 10 matches (5 at home and 5 away) against 10 different opponents.
If you follow well, it means that not all formations will compete against each other, interesting if you bet on champions league. They will first be spread out in 4 different hats, defined according to the UEFA coefficient and the status of each. The champions will be in the first pot, then the top-ranked teams in pot two, and so on.
With this formula and to guarantee posters in the first phase, a defending champion would face two other champions, then three prestigious teams from hat 2, three from hat 3, and two from hat 4. At the end of these ten matches, which would be spread out from September to January and would be held in the middle of the week between Tuesday and Thursday, the first 8 of this classification of 36 teams would qualify directly for the knockout stages of C1, while waiting to know their opponents.
Because the clubs positioned between 9th and 24th place in the championship would meet in a round-trip format in a sort of round of 16 (or play-off for the 8th, it depends). It is then that this new competition would resume a classic round trip until a final disputed on a match.