Champions League final "could be held in New York" from 2025 1 month ago

Champions League final "could be held in New York" from 2025

Uefa could be looking to take the biggest game in European football out of Europe

Uefa are reportedly plotting a shakeup of the Champions League - when, by the way, are they ever *not* reportedly planning a shakeup of the Champions League? - which could see the final staged outside the continent.

Advertisement

According to reports, as well as ongoing discussions to increase the number of teams from 32 to 36 by 2024, Europe's governing body are also looking to maximise the tournament's global appeal by taking the final beyond European shores, with New York named as a possible host venue.

New York has already played host to football games at the 1994 World Cup and in the preseason International Champions Cup, and staging European club football's showpiece event would represent a huge opportunity for Uefa to cash in on.

Istanbul, St Petersburg, Wembley and Munich will play host to the competition's next four finals, but the 2024-2025 edition could be the first of many to be played further afield.

The new format would also allow teams entry into the competition through "historical" coefficients, meaning those clubs with strong pedigree in European competition may still qualify even if they struggle domestically.

The group stages, a feature of the Champions League since the mid nineties, could also be scrapped in favour of a format which would see all teams ranked in a table having played 10 games against seeded opponents. From there, the top eight sides would automatically advance to the last-16 stage as seeded teams, with the teams ranked between ninth and 24th joining them in the knock-out rounds.

Advertisement

Despite Uefa being keen to press ahead with the overhaul of the current format, it is extremely unlikely that some of the continent's top clubs won't object to the idea of even more fixtures being added to an already bloated schedule.