New Champions League Format
Next season, the Champions League format is set to change from 32 teams to 36 teams. This means that up to seven Premier League teams could secure qualification for the tournament.
Addition of English Club Winners
If an English club wins the Champions League this season, the Premier League will be granted at least one additional qualification place.
Current System Reminder
The competition currently begins with a group stage, consisting of four teams split into eight groups. The top two teams from each group then qualify for the round of 16.
The 'Swiss Model'
Next year, the Champions League will adopt a 'Swiss model', in which 36 teams will play in one league, attempting to qualify for the knockout rounds.
Each team will play four additional games, resulting in five home ties and five away ties. However, not every team will play each other.
The top eight teams will advance to the round of 16, while teams placed between ninth and 24th will enter a play-off round to meet them.
Additional Four Places
There will be four additional places in the tournament, which will be awarded as follows:
- One place will go to the club ranked third in the championship of the association in fifth position in the UEFA national association ranking.
- One place will be awarded to a domestic champion by extending the number of qualifying clubs via the so-called 'Champions Path' from four to five.
- The final two places will be given to the associations with the best collective performance by their clubs in the previous season.
The Premier League clubs will be most interested in the final bullet point, as it rewards a league based on the performance of its clubs in the previous year's competition.
If last year's tournaments, which were dominated by English and Italian sides, were taken into consideration, Liverpool and Atalanta, both fifth in their respective leagues, would have entered the Champions League.
For seven Premier League teams to qualify in the 2024/25 campaign, English clubs would have to provide exceptional performances across the Champions League, Europa League, and Europa Conference League.
This would mean an English club placing in the top two of all three competitions, while also finishing outside of the Premier League's top five.
While this scenario seems unlikely given the quality of teams required to win all three competitions, in theory, it is possible for seven Premier League teams to compete in the revamped 'Swiss model' Champions League.