Celtic will be watching closely as UEFA get set to present radical changes to the Champions League format from 2024.
Italian newspaper La Gazzetta Dello Sport reports today (05/02 print edition, page 21) that the 55 member associations will get their first glimpse of the finalised plans on Tuesday.
The Champions League as we know it could be gone for good.
The paper says that a giant league table of 36 teams is set to be formed, with every team playing ten matches before the next stage of the competition – five at home and five away.
This table will be split into four sections. Sound confusing? You’re not wrong.
As an example of how this would work, a team from the top section would play two games against others in the same tier, three against those in the second and third tiers and two against those in the bottom tier.
At the end of this ten-match gauntlet, a universal league table would determine who progresses.
The top eight teams would qualify for knockout stages, the middle 16 would play an extra round, eight more would drop into the Europa League with the bottom eight ending participation for the season.
It’s unclear how the qualification for the initial stage would work, which is likely what’s most interesting and relevant to Celtic.
The entire endeavour is in service to generating more income by playing more matches and being a bigger draw for television companies.
Clearly, it’s a situation to watch closely, with revenue set to spike.
Any plans will have to be confirmed at UEFA’s executive committee meeting in April, with the changes taking place from 2024.