Sat. Jan 16th, 2021

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How the Champions League’s ‘Swiss’ revamp would look – with Liverpool facing Real AND Bayern!

5 min read

The Champions League looks like it could be in for a major overhaul as UEFA gets ready to put forward their ‘Swiss system’, reportedly within the next two weeks.

A report in The Times on Wednesday revealed how UEFA want to appease their biggest clubs by offering more matches between the top teams, quashing the threat of a possible breakaway Super League.

UEFA are due to discuss plans that centre around a change to the structure to the group phase of the competition that would see clubs playing 10 matches against 10 different opponents.

UEFA are plotting a shake-up of the Champions League that would change the group stage

UEFA are plotting a shake-up of the Champions League that would change the group stage

The new system would see teams play 10 matches against completely different opposition

The new system would see teams play 10 matches against completely different opposition

It would see 32 or 36 teams put together into a single league table.

They would jostle for position in the league table throughout the autumn and winter but would not all play each other.

A random draw, with teams placed in four pots as is done now, would throw up a team’s 10 fixtures, all against different opponents. 

Five matches would be at home and five away.

Teams would then compete for points in a single league table format, like the Premier League, and the top 16 clubs would go on to the knockout stages.

The last-16 ties would then be decided by the final league standings.

So whoever came top of the league table would play the team that came 16th, the second would take on 15th and so on. 

It is hoped that the importance placed on a team’s finishing position will make matches towards the end of the group stage as intriguing and dramatic as those at the start. 

Those teams who finished in positions 17 to 24 would drop down into the Europa League. The rest would be eliminated from European competition that year. 

UEFA are hoping to introduce the ‘Swiss system’ from 2024, when the current Champions League TV deal expires.

In the new system, Liverpool could play Real Madrid in the opening stage of the competition

In the new system, Liverpool could play Real Madrid in the opening stage of the competition

The Reds could also take on Bayern Munich with more matches against Europe's biggest clubs

The Reds could also take on Bayern Munich with more matches against Europe’s biggest clubs

It would give each team four matches more than the current group stage format, placing more pressure on football’s already congested calendar. 

So what would, for example, Liverpool’s possible fixtures look like?

As Premier League champions they were put in pot one before this season’s group-stage draw.

At present, a team in pot one is drawn against one team from pot two, one from pot three and one from pot four to give the eight groups of four that we normally see in the Champions League.

But under the new system Liverpool would be drawn with two more teams from pot one, as well as three teams from both pots two and three and two from pot four. 

A random draw carried out by Sportsmail handed Jurgen Klopp’s men matches against Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Ajax, Dynamo Kiev, Red Bull Salzburg, Olympiacos, Marseille and Club Brugge.

But Manchester United, drawn from pot two at the start of the season, would face three teams from pots one and four, as well as two from both pots two and three, giving them a tougher draw.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side could realistically face Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Atalanta, Borussia Monchengladbach and Ferencvaros. 

POTENTIAL DRAWS FOR ENGLISH CLUBS IN THE NEW SYSTEM 

LIVERPOOL (Pot A) 

Real Madrid (Pot A)

Bayern Munich (Pot A)

Atletico Madrid (Pot B)

Shakhtar Donetsk (Pot B)

Ajax (Pot B)

Dynamo Kiev (Pot C)

Red Bull Salzburg (Pot C)

Olympiacos (Pot C)

Marseille (Pot D)

Club Brugge (Pot D)

MANCHESTER CITY (Pot B)

Juventus (Pot A)

Bayern Munich (Pot A)

Sevilla (Pot A)

Atletico Madrid (Pot B)

Shakhtar Donetsk (Pot B)

RB Leipzig (Pot C)

Krasnodar (Pot C)

Marseille (Pot D)

Borussia Monchengladbach (Pot D)

Midtjylland (Pot D)

MANCHESTER UNITED (Pot B)

Paris Saint-Germain (Pot A)

Juventus (Pot A)

Real Madrid (Pot A)

Borussia Dortmund (Pot B)

Barcelona (Pot B)

Inter Milan (Pot C)

Atalanta (Pot C)

Borussia Monchengladbach (Pot D)

Ferencvaros (Pot D)

Lokomotiv Moscow (Pot D)

CHELSEA (Pot B)

Porto (Pot A)

Real Madrid (Pot A)

Bayern Munich (Pot A)

Ajax (Pot B)

Borussia Dortmund (Pot B)

Inter Milan (Pot C)

Lazio (Pot C)

Lokomotiv Moscow (Pot D)

Istanbul Basaksehir (Pot D)

Rennes (Pot D)

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Coming from draw pot two, Chelsea, Manchester City and United could face more top teams

Coming from draw pot two, Chelsea, Manchester City and United could face more top teams

As you can see from those two mock draws, those clubs wishing for more matches between the continent’s biggest clubs look like they would get their wish. 

The proposals are set to be put to European officials in the next two weeks. A source told The Times: ‘The top clubs want more matches against other clubs from the top leagues and this provides it.

‘Although it might be more difficult for fans to understand at first, another advantage is that the group stage should be much more exciting than it is now.

‘Every match should be significant because every place in the top 16 will be valuable in terms of the opponent in the next round and in terms of prize money.’ 

Real Madrid and a number of Italian clubs, including Juventus, have been keen on a European Super League for years. 

After 10 matches, the top 16 teams in the league table would then go onto the knockout stages

After 10 matches, the top 16 teams in the league table would then go onto the knockout stages

They are after a greater slice of broadcasting revenue, brought about by more meaningful matches against Europe’s biggest teams. 

Talk of a European Premier League once again came to the surface earlier this year, reportedly led by Liverpool and Manchester United.

Estimated to be worth £4.6billion, the league would have seen more than a dozen teams across England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain become founding members of the new competition. 

A provisional date of 2022 was discussed as when the European Premier League would get underway and as many as five English teams could have been involved in it.

Governing body FIFA had reportedly been involved in the talks over the European Premier League, while Wall Street giant JP Morgan was reportedly in talks to provide £4.6bn in debt financing to help get it off the ground.

Watch all of the Champions League live with a BT Sport monthly pass – get yours here.  

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