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Discussion Starter #1
The format of the world's most prestigious club football competition – the UEFA Champions League – will change as from the 2003/04 season.

Sixteen-team knockout phase
UEFA's Executive Committee decided at its two-day meeting in Nyon to maintain a field of 32 participants and an opening group stage with eight groups of four. However, following this first group stage, the competition will revert to a two-leg knockout phase with 16 teams.

Second group stage abolished
The decision will mean the abolition of the second group stage, which currently features 16 teams playing in four groups of four, with the knockout phase beginning at the quarter-finals. Under the revised format, the two teams reaching the final will play a total of 13 matches from the start of the group stage, compared with 17 at present.

Best interests
UEFA President Lennart Johansson, who chaired the Executive Committee meeting, said that the format changes had been made with the best interests of the competition and European football in mind. "We believe this reduction in the size of the competition is in the longer-term interests of everyone involved – clubs, players, fans, broadcasters, sponsors and European football in general," he said.

Act for the future
"It is not easy to change a competition which is recognised as the best club event in the world, but sometimes you need to act for the future," said the UEFA President. "We have been listening carefully to our stakeholders, and it is clear that there are a variety of views – however, we believe this is a moment for leadership in the wider interests of the game.

Better balance
"As the European governing body, UEFA has to consider many different factors, both sporting and commercial, and at the same time think ahead," explained Mr Johansson. "We want to see a better balance in European football, a less congested fixture list for players and clubs and a flagship competition which has the right sporting mix and brand strength.

Changing circumstances
"Changing circumstances in the commercial environment are important, but so is planning for the future and basing your competitions on public interest and long-term development," he added. "We believe that this move will send the right signals to the whole of European football about how we can work together to tackle some of the challenges ahead."

Adapting format
European football's governing body has continually adapted the format of its blue-riband club competition since the Champions League was launched in the 1992/93 season with a field of eight teams.

Constant dialogue
In line with football's development over the past decade, the competition has expanded considerably in terms of the number of participants and commercial appeal. UEFA has maintained constant dialogue with the European football community and the many commercial partners involved to fine-tune every element of what has become one of the world's major sporting attractions, in which not only the participating clubs, but also European football as a whole, benefit from the income generated.

Club revenue
Clubs who competed in last season's Champions League will receive CHF768m (€523m) from the revenue generated.
Solidarity principle
UEFA also operates a solidarity principle whereby national associations and clubs from throughout Europe also receive a share of the Champions League revenue. The 51 UEFA associations – as at last season, as new members Kazakhstan were not included – each receive a direct payment of CHF300,000 (€205,000).

League payments
It was announced on Wednesday that UEFA would also be allocating nearly CHF59m (€40.2m) in 2001/02 Champions League solidarity payments to the top leagues of its member associations.

UEFA

Finally they got to their senses! Less games! Maybe Rivaldo will have to time to recover from injuries now....
 

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aaaaaahh, finally a change in the CL format. I almost was afraid of having the same format for more than a few years :)

I like the change though. Knock-out matches are always the most exciting to watch. I wouldn't mind if the UEFA would change the format back to the old European cup 1 format. Only League-winners, only knock-out stages. :cool: Little chance that's ever going to happen again though. :depress: :depress:
 

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there is no ny significant changing :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:
 

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I'm sorry but I can't agree. Today is a sad day for football.

UEFA has caved in to putting a poor product on the field, in the name of 'excitement'.

I want to see the BEST teams play. With this new format, smaller clubs will have a chance. We shouldn't allow that. Small clubs have their OWN cup.. its called the UEFA cup. I would rather see real madrid in the final every year than only have 1 group stage. It reduced the prestige of the tournament.

Given the financial trouble football is in, this only makes it more difficult. Fewer games, means less money, means less player development, means crap product.

I think its even more likely that there will be a new competition now... whatever the format may be.
 

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maxout said:
I would rather see real madrid in the final every year than only have 1 group stage
u are right :D ;)
 

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The Changes Look Promising, But...

maxout said:
I want to see the BEST teams play. With this new format, smaller clubs will have a chance. We shouldn't allow that. Small clubs have their OWN cup.. its called the UEFA cup. I would rather see real madrid in the final every year than only have 1 group stage. It reduced the prestige of the tournament.

Given the financial trouble football is in, this only makes it more difficult. Fewer games, means less money, means less player development, means crap product.
I must be missing something. Euro clubs were complaining that there were too many games, that the CL was bloated and that it was a terrible format. Many people even tried to use the excess of Euro matches as an excuse for their National Teams' failure at the WC. Now you say changing it is a disaster? I don't get it. I sincerely thought that this change was what everybody wanted!
:confused:

Another thing. Maxout, you say 'Smaller clubs will have a chance and we shouldn't allow that'. Uh, why? in football the 'smaller' teams always have a chance, and that's part of its beauty. A supposedly 'smaller' team that knocks out teams with more tradition deserves to go forward in the competition. It reduces the 'prestige' of the tournament?? Why? The team qualified, then beat more 'traditional' teams - hey, looks prestigious to me.

I would agree if you were complaining about teams that finished 2nd or 3rd in their leagues participating in a so-called 'Champions League'. If UEFA took Truth in Advertising seriously the name would need to be changed to 'UEFA Traditional and Rich Clubs' League' or 'UEFA League of Champions and Some Others That Finished Just Below The Champs In The Most Prestigious Countries'. Because calling it 'champions' league is just plain not true, y'know? :)
 

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Re: The Changes Look Promising, But...

I think I am the only person in the world unhappy with the change back to only 1 stage...

Garrincha said:


I must be missing something. Euro clubs were complaining that there were too many games, that the CL was bloated and that it was a terrible format. Many people even tried to use the excess of Euro matches as an excuse for their National Teams' failure at the WC. Now you say changing it is a disaster? I don't get it. I sincerely thought that this change was what everybody wanted!
That is exactly it. This was just an excuse for poor coaching, arrogance, and generally the media hype surrounding some crap teams. They wanted an excuse.. so the 'invented' this fixture problem. If the fixture really is crowded, why do some countries have TWO national cup competitions? Just so they can go for the 'treble'???

Garrincha said:

Another thing. Maxout, you say 'Smaller clubs will have a chance and we shouldn't allow that'. Uh, why? in football the 'smaller' teams always have a chance, and that's part of its beauty. A supposedly 'smaller' team that knocks out teams with more tradition deserves to go forward in the competition. It reduces the 'prestige' of the tournament?? Why? The team qualified, then beat more 'traditional' teams - hey, looks prestigious to me.
Nope. Before clubs like ajax, celtic, and porto had ZERO chance of winning the 'expanded' 2 groups stage champions league.. now with 1 group stage.. it will become ALOT easier... The reason for the decrease in prestige is simple.. its much much tougher to win when you have 2 group stages. You have to have a deep squad AND a talented squad.. you need both. But not after this year.


Garrincha said:

I would agree if you were complaining about teams that finished 2nd or 3rd in their leagues participating in a so-called 'Champions League'. If UEFA took Truth in Advertising seriously the name would need to be changed to 'UEFA Traditional and Rich Clubs' League' or 'UEFA League of Champions and Some Others That Finished Just Below The Champs In The Most Prestigious Countries'. Because calling it 'champions' league is just plain not true, y'know? :)
See.. I disagree totally with this idea. The champions league should be for the 'BEST' teams.. not the teams that necessarily win their national league.. If you want to change the name of the competition to 'super league' or something fine.

Bottom lline.. I want to see the best and most talented squads... not lucky ones. That was the best thing about the champions league.. there was very little luck involved. the best team almost always won. That is very very unique.

If you want excitement and want to see small teams knock off the big teams.. watch the UEFA cup.. it happens there all the time.

I'm sorry if I'm coming off like a jerk. But those of you that want smaller teams to have a chance.. celebrate.. because you won (and I lost)... the number of teams that can win the CL now is increased from like 5-6 teams.. to probably 18-24 teams. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
???

maxout> there's something I don't get: you want better teams. In the current format the 16 "best" teams play 6 games in a groupstage. After that the best 8 are chosen. In the new format it's just a knock out. So instead of 6 games to determine the 8 "best", now only 2 games are needed. This means you get to see the better teams earlier.

the injuries are jokes or a lame excuse? Does the name Rivaldo ring you a bell? If he would (COULD) have had more rest during last season, he wouldn't be injured all the time. And we have seen that a fit Rivaldo (on the WC) is much better than an injured Rivo (last season @ Barça). This is not something from the WC, this is something clubs and players complain about for already a couple of years...
 

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Re: Re: The Changes Look Promising, But...

maxout said:

...
Nope. Before clubs like ajax, celtic, and porto had ZERO chance of winning the 'expanded' 2 groups stage champions league.. now with 1 group stage.. it will become ALOT easier...
:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: Ajax won the CL in 1994-1995 not because of the format, but because they were the absolute best! They beated alot of the big teams of that time (Bayern Munchen, AC Milan...) because they were better. Shouldn't the best team of the season win the most prestiges cup? Besides that, Ajax won the CL/EC1 4 times. There are not many clubs who top that. BTW, i'not a big ajax fan or anything.. :)

maxout said:

...
If you want excitement and want to see small teams knock off the big teams.. watch the UEFA cup.. it happens there all the time.
...
Why do you think these 'big'-teams get knocked out all the time? Is it always because of luck or is it maybe because the big teams are overrated? Or maybe it's because the smaller teams have a real team with some talented players? Don't you think that if they play better in the confrontations they deserve to win? I personnally would much rather see an attractive match with an unpredictable score than a dull match with the 'big'-team winning. (Barcelona matches excluded offcoarse :D)

Besides that, the changes only affect the stage after the first group stage, so the teams that don't belong in the CL will be filtered out before the knock-out rounds start.
 

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Re: Re: Re: The Changes Look Promising, But...

nijhuist said:

:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: Ajax won the CL in 1994-1995 not because of the format, but because they were the absolute best! They beated alot of the big teams of that time (Bayern Munchen, AC Milan...) because they were better.
Ajax beat Milan three times that CL-campaign (2-0, 0-2 and 0-1). That proves Ajax was better than Milan, while Milan won the CL the year before and was considered the best team.

Knock-out rounds are just more exiting and thus will get more viewers and higher attendances. Maybe this will cover up for the money the clubs won't make with the knock-out rounds.
 

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Krijn said:
???

maxout> there's something I don't get: you want better teams. In the current format the 16 "best" teams play 6 games in a groupstage. After that the best 8 are chosen. In the new format it's just a knock out. So instead of 6 games to determine the 8 "best", now only 2 games are needed. This means you get to see the better teams earlier.

the injuries are jokes or a lame excuse? Does the name Rivaldo ring you a bell? If he would (COULD) have had more rest during last season, he wouldn't be injured all the time. And we have seen that a fit Rivaldo (on the WC) is much better than an injured Rivo (last season @ Barça). This is not something from the WC, this is something clubs and players complain about for already a couple of years...
I dont WANT to necessarily see the better teams play each other earlier if it means LESS games. I would rather see a bayer leverkusen play 6 games and get knocket out rather than 2 games and get knocked out. What you are forgetting here is that you MIGHT see better teams LESS.. IF THEY are unlucky. I'm sorry.. but this was the only european competition where there was not luck involved. I don't want to see lucky teams... I want to just see the BEST teams

Rivaldo was injured in a game against argentina right? If you do complain about too many games.. reduce the domestic leagues.. reduce domestic cups to only 2.. france and england have 2. What would you rather see... barcelona vs. osasuna or barcelona vs. leverkusen?

European Champions league was unique.. it proveded soooo many games of the best teams playing the best teams... it WAS a super league in a way. now.. is 'just' a cup. Like I said before.. if you wanted a cup with luck and crap teams winning.. you should watch the UEFA cup.. if you want to see the best players.. the best stadiums, etc.. that WAS what the champions league was for.

I don't want to see obscure teams get into the knockout phase beause some of the 'BIG' teams screwed up a game or two in the 1st group stage.

The European Super league better happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
maxout said:


I don't want to see lucky teams... I want to just see the BEST teams

(...)

European Champions league was unique.. it proveded soooo many games of the best teams playing the best teams... it WAS a super league in a way (....) if you want to see the best players.. the best stadiums, etc.. that WAS what the champions league was for.

I don't want to see obscure teams get into the knockout phase beause some of the 'BIG' teams screwed up a game or two in the 1st group stage.

The European Super league better happen.
:confused:

No luck? How would you call Real Madrid's groups last year? Now if you beat a weak opponent, you get a stronger one. In the current format you simply get another team from your already determined group.
 

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nijhuist said:
aaaaaahh, finally a change in the CL format. I almost was afraid of having the same format for more than a few years :)

I like the change though. Knock-out matches are always the most exciting to watch. I wouldn't mind if the UEFA would change the format back to the old European cup 1 format. Only League-winners, only knock-out stages. :cool: Little chance that's ever going to happen again though. :depress: :depress:


I totally agree with you. I don't think the European Cup is about more than money now, not at all the charm it used to have in the good old days!

Get back the cup winners cup as well... and kick all non-champions out of the Champions League...
 

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maxout said:
I don't want to see obscure teams get into the knockout phase beause some of the 'BIG' teams screwed up a game or two in the 1st group stage.
Maxout,
this sentence totally contradicts the entire basis of your complaints. You're complaining that the second group stage was important because to win a group stage a team needs to have more depth and talent. So the extra group stage would 'filter' out the bad teams. But if a 'BIG' team can perfectly screw up on a couple of matches and get eliminated, why can't it happen in the second stage as well?

If the group stage isn't, as you believe them to be, a sure-fire way of 'filtering' good teams from bad, then UEFA is right - the extra group stage was nothing but extra games. And therefore, expendable. :smileani:
 

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Garrincha said:


. But if a 'BIG' team can perfectly screw up on a couple of matches and get eliminated, why can't it happen in the second stage as well?

If the group stage isn't, as you believe them to be, a sure-fire way of 'filtering' good teams from bad, then UEFA is right - the extra group stage was nothing but extra games. And therefore, expendable. :smileani:
I think you misunderstand me. 2 group stages reduce the likely hood of a crappy team advancing. 1 group stage reduces it as well (in comparison to a straight knockout).. but not as much.


krijn> real madrid may have had easier groups.. but they did beat barcelona, bayern munich, and bayer leverkusen, as well as Roma... they beat almost all the best teams.. they were the best team last year.. If barcelona HAD won.. it would have been a little unfair.. as I think we did not have as good of a squad. I think the team that really did get screwed was deportivo... they were probably the 3rd best team.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Would they have been there as well if they had 2 "groups of death"? I'm not sure. With the knock-out system it means you have to be there all the time. With groups like Real faced last year, you can field your B-squad and win. (To the Madrid-fans, this is not an attack on you guys. It's simply to point out that there are differences in the strength of groups. Just before some labas starts to attack me in my own forum :))
 

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many teams like real madrid, man utd ,and Bayern refuse this type of format, and refuse the deletion of the second round...
 
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