Champions League format change will avoid repeat of embarrassing Man Utd blunder

The Champions League knockout rounds are set for a major revamp that would stop a repeat of this season's mess.

The Round of 16 had to be redrawn after a series of errors in December led to teams who should be able to draw each other deemed unavailable. However, with the new format, situations like that would be avoided.

The new system is set to draw inspiration from grand slam tennis, with the top 24 teams ranked and their path to the final decided as a result of the rankings. The rankings would also mean teams from the same nation could meet earlier in the competition.

Teams ranked 1-8 are effectively the 'group winners', and they will progress immediately onto the Round of 16.

While teams ranked 9-24 will go into a play-off game – like the Round of 32 in this season's Europa League – for the resulting spots available in the next round.

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The rankings will also see the draw split in two, and the 1 and 2 ranked teams would be unable to meet until the final.

This means that teams ranked 3 and 4 etc will be put on opposite sides of the bracket.

The new format is being proposed as a result of the 'Swiss-style' model that will be introduced to the Champions League in the 24/25 season.

The new model will see 36 sides put in one league – ranking teams from 1 to 36. However, the new model will also see the introduction of 'legacy' sides, who will earn a spot based on historical performance.

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