UEFA increases the chances of entering the groups of the Champions League and its other tournaments for countries such as Bulgaria.
In front of media from Central and Eastern Europe, leading figures of UEFA presented the work of their various departments, and also made a sports and financial report for the last 20 years of their various tournaments.
The most important presentation was that of Giorgio Marchetti and Tobias Hedtstück on the new format of European club tournaments from the summer of 2024, when the current three-year cycle will end. The good news for domestic football is that the 2024 champion will get a chance to qualify for the Champions League groups, but also an opportunity to accumulate points and thus have greater income. This also applies to the other two tournaments – Europa League and Conference League.
What are the most important changes? 36 teams will now participate in the groups of the three tournaments, instead of 32 as at the moment. That is, the total number for the three competitions will increase from 96 to 108, and here the important point is that the total number of teams that will participate in them from the qualifications are hereby preserved.
UEFA calculations show that the champions of countries such as Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Slovakia or Hungary will have a better chance of reaching the Champions League groups. The same applies, of course, to the other tournaments. The general change of UEFA will be in the actual phase of the tournaments. Actually, in it the groups will not be in their current version, but the so-called Swiss system will be used with 36 teams, which will be divided into 4 urns according to their coefficients in the SHL and LE, and into 6 urns in the LC. Each team in the Champions League will play 8 matches, instead of 6 as before. They will face 2 opponents from each urn in 1 match each.
FIFA’s idea is to not have unequal matches, as often happens now. For example – if the future Bulgarian champion reaches this stage in 2024, he will not play twice with giants such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Liverpool or PSG, but will meet them once. At the same time, he will face teams of his level or slightly higher again in one match each, which increases his chance of points and income.
The same principle will be applied in LE, while in LC there is some difference, where there will be six urns and each participant will face one team from each urn, with 3 home and 3 away matches. Undoubtedly, the new system leads to a rebalancing of the tournaments and gives greater chances to home teams, but still the most important conditions to be strong and have excellent odds remain valid.