Thomas Tuchel blasts new Champions League format

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has criticised the new Champions League format that’s set to be introduced in 2024.

UEFA announced the changes last week in the midst of the backlash from the Super League proposals.

Amongst the headline changes are an increase in teams from 32 to 36, as well as a new group stage format, which will see the teams form a single league where they play 10 matches each.

That means the removal of the current group stage, and the addition of at least four extra matches.

And Tuchel expressed his dismay at the changes prior to Chelsea‘s Champions League semi-final first leg tie against Real Madrid.

He said: “I’m not sure if I like it because I can only see more games out of it.

“And more games in a schedule that we have… it’s very hard for me to be excited at all.

“All these discussions about Super League made us forget that we have a new format of Champions League very soon.

“Did they ask any coach about this? I don’t think so. They did not ask me.

“Did they ask any player about it? I don’t think so.

“We have so many new formats – Nations League, a new World Championship for clubs coming soon. So much new stuff, so many more games, more teams in the European Championship in the summer.

“It’s just more and more games. Not more quality, just more games.

“Who should play these games? And at the same time we have three substitutes here in the Premier League, in the toughest competitions.

“No, I’m not happy about this format, not at all.”

What other changes will be made to the Champions League?

In addition to the increased number of teams, two of the four teams will be awarded qualification based on their UEFA co-efficient.

These teams will be granted qualification if they haven’t qualified for the Champions League group stage, but have qualified for the Champions League qualification stage, the Europa League or the Europa Conference League.

The other two places will be granted to whoever finishes third in the league of the association that is fifth in UEFA’s national association ranking, and an extra domestic champion.

Changes will also be made to the latter two of those competitions, with eight group stage games played in the Europa League and six in the Europa Conference League.

The top eight teams in the group stage of the Champions League will enter the knockouts, with teams ranked from ninth to 24th participating in a two-legged play-off to complete the last 16 lineup.

The new format is scheduled to commence from the 2024/25 season.

Featured Image Credit: Getty