UEFA has announced details of a new European club competition that is set to be launched in 2021.
The creation of the tournament, which has the working title of UEL2, was approved following a meeting in Dublin.
- More clubs from more associations will play European football from 2021 after the UEFA Executive Committee approved the creation of a third UEFA club competition for the 2021–2014 competition cycle at their meeting in Dublin.
- The governing body said its inception will ensure at least 34 countries will be represented in the group stages of UEFA club competitions.
- Running alongside the Champions League and Europa League, the competition will feature 32 teams in the group stage. The games will be played on Thursdays.
- Before the last 16, an additional knockout round will be played between the second-place finishers in the group stage and the sides who finished third in their respective Europa League groups.
- The new competition will feature 141 matches over 15 match weeks, precisely like the UEFA Europa League.
When will the final be played?
All club competition finals will be played in the same week:
- Wednesday (new competition)
- Thursday (Europa League)
- Saturday (Champions League)
What's in it for the winner?
The winner of the competition will qualify for the subsequent season's Europa League.
UEFA ExCo approved the creation of a new club competition for 2021-24.
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin: “The new UEFA club competition makes UEFA’s club competitions more inclusive than ever before.”
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— UEFA (@UEFA) December 2, 2018
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said: "The new UEFA club competition makes UEFA's club competitions more inclusive than ever before. There will be more matches for more clubs, with more associations represented in the group stages.
"This competition was borne out of ongoing dialogue with clubs through the European Club Association.
"There was a widespread demand by all clubs to increase their chances of participating more regularly in European competition.
"This has been achieved with a strategic approach, and in accordance with UEFA's objective of having both more quality and more inclusivity in our club competitions."
The UEFA Executive Committee approved the competition format and the access list for the new competition. An increased minimum financial guarantee for all clubs in the Europa League and the new competition has also been included. The detailed revenue distribution and solidarity systems and other details, such as the competition name/brand, coefficient system, and commercial strategy will be finalized during 2019.
All member associations will have access to the three club competitions, and all associations will keep the same overall access quota as currently.
As part of the 2021–2024 competition cycle, the Europa League will now be similarly streamlined with the same format. It will also include an additional knockout round played before the round of 16 between teams ranked second in their groups and the third-ranked teams of the Champions League groups.
No changes will be made to the format and access list of the Champions League.