Starting from the 2024/2025 season, the UEFA Champions League will see an increase to 36 teams.
The current group stage replaced by one single league, UEFA said on Tuesday.
The revamp of European football’s premier club competition will see each team play eight league games – four home and four away – as opposed to six in the group stage.
The top eight sides in the league will qualify automatically for the knockout stage, while the teams finishing in ninth to 24th place will compete in a two-legged play-off to secure their path to the last 16 of the competition.
“We are convinced that the format chosen strikes the right balance and that it will improve the competitive balance and generate solid revenues that can be distributed to clubs, leagues and into grassroots football across our continent,” said UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.
Ceferin and UEFA will be hoping the reforms — passed unanimously by their executive board — will kill off once and for all any thought of the rebel Super League making a reappearance.
Twelve of Europe’s biggest clubs signed up to the proposed new competition last April but it collapsed within days following a fierce backlash from their own players and fans, as well as governments and football’s governing bodies.
Nine clubs distanced themselves from the project but Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus remain on board with the concept.