UEFA has confirmed how the Champions League (UCL) will look from the 2024-25 season, when it will move to a 36-team tournament.

It's going to be a dramatic departure from what fans are used to, so here's a full breakdown of what this means for football's top club competition.

What's going to be different about the Champions League?

From next season, 36 clubs will take part in the Champions League and they will all be in one big league table. The old (current) format saw 32 clubs divided into eight groups of four teams.

There will still be a draw (of sorts) at start of the season, but only to create the league-phase fixtures: eight games for each club, four at home and four away.

The 36 teams will be divided into four pots of nine. Pot 1 will have the titleholders of the UCL and the eight clubs with the best coefficients. That means the champions of the top domestic leagues and the UEL titleholders will no longer be prioritised for Pot 1. Pots 2 to 4 are ordered on club coefficient.

Each club will be drawn to play two teams from each pot -- one home, one away. So, unlike in the current format, a club in Pot 1 will play a game against two other clubs from Pot 1.

As a general rule, clubs from the same association will not be drawn against each other. However, to avoid deadlocking, the leagues with four or more clubs could play one match against another team from the same country.

From the final table, the top eight go direct to the round of 16. Positions nine to 24 will enter a playoff to earn the other eight places in the round of 16. Positions 25 to 36 are eliminated from Europe. There is no country protection in any of the knockout rounds, so for instance teams from the Premier League could play each other.

Unlike in previous seasons, there is no drop down of teams from the Champions League to the Europa League after the league phase. Once eliminated, your European season is over.

There will be only one knockout-round draw for the round of 16 onwards, with teams seeded based upon their final league-phase position and no country protection. It means it's important where you finish in the table; the higher you are, the more favourable knockout route you will have -- on paper at least.

- How the UCL knockout phase will lean on Grand Slam tennis

Why is this all happening?

More games equals more money, and the biggest clubs always take a larger slice of the broadcasting revenues. The top teams also want to play more meaningful games against their main rivals, which this should create at an earlier stage of the Champions League.

So does this mean more games?

Under the original plan proposed in 2021, the tournament was to almost double in size, from a total of 125 games to 225, with each team playing 10 games in the group stage.

However, that has now been scaled back to eight group stage fixtures, meaning a total of 189 games in the season.

It means two extra matchdays are needed for the Champions League group stage.

The group stage will now finish at the end of January, rather than in December.

So what is the 'Swiss model'?

Rather than teams being drawn into eight groups of four, as is the case now, all clubs are placed into one giant table based on points, and then goal difference.

It is based on the Swiss-system tournament used in chess, whereby each team does not play all of the others. The chess format decides a team's next opponents after each set of games, whereas in the Champions League all group stage fixtures will be known at the start of the season.

It has been used in football in other competitions with a large number of participants, including in the Concacaf Nations League qualifying competition where all teams played four matches but the results were fed into one league of 34 nations.

The Champions League will look very different from 2024-25 Richard Juilliart - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Where do the 4 extra teams come from?

The number of clubs will be raised from 32 to 36. The new format means teams are guaranteed a minimum of eight games, and most will play at least 10.

2 places will go to the best performing leagues in Europe in this current season, known as European Performance Spots. The place goes to the next team in the league which has not automatically qualified. Last season, that would have been Liverpool and Atalanta. These places are most likely go to clubs from the top leagues.

- LIVE UPDATES: The race for extra Champions League places

1 place will go to the third-placed team in the league ranked fifth in the UEFA coefficient (this is effectively the average performance of all its clubs in Europe.) Last season that was France, so Marseille would have gone direct to the UCL group phase, with Stade Rennais promoted from the Europa League into UCL qualifying. France looks likely to hold onto that place for the 2024-25 domestic season just ahead of the Netherlands.

1 place will go to the qualifying path for champions. Four teams used to come through this route into the league phase, but from next season it will be five. The place cannot go to a team from the top 10 leagues as their champions do not go through qualifying.

Who will benefit from the two coefficient places?

At the time the changes were announced the Netherlands would have gained an additional place in the Champions League. It piqued interest, as it was a berth going to a team not from the Big Five leagues. However, historically this is an outlier.

If we look back at the previous seven seasons, England and Spain take 11 of the 14 slots.

2022-23: England and Italy2021-22: England and the Netherlands2020-21: England, Spain2019-20: Spain, Germany2018-19: England, Spain2017-18: England, Spain2016-17: Spain, England

The Dutch Eredivisie would have benefitted in 2021-22 as it had three clubs in the group stage of the Europa Conference League (UECL), all of whom advanced. Feyenoord reached the final, just enough to get the Dutch second place in the coefficient table. In the five seasons before the UECL, the Dutch had been placed 5th, 8th, 7th, 29th and 9th.

If a country gets a coefficient place, that's an additional team in Europe. So, for instance, the Premier League would get eight places, with non-UCL positions dropping down one.

Champions League: 1-5Europa League: 6, FA Cup winnersEuropa Conference League: Carabao Cup winners

If the cup winners finish in the top 6, the places could drop to 7th and 8th in the table.

When will we find out who gets the extra places?

- LIVE UPDATES: The race for extra Champions League places

In many seasons it may be obvious in March, once we know which leagues have teams through to the quarterfinals of the three European competitions.

However, the 2019-20 season shows that it can go right down to the wire. Germany didn't overtake the Premier League for second place until Bayern Munich beat Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 in the final of the Champions League. If that's repeated this season, we wouldn't know which league gets the second additional spot until the UCL final takes place June 1.

It would leave two clubs in the domestic leagues praying for the right result in the final. In 2019-20, Bayer Leverkusen and Leicester City finished fifth in Germany and England respectively. Leverkusen would have needed Bayern to win the UCL final to get the place, while Leicester required Bayern to lose the match.

We could also hypothetically see a situation where, for instance, Arsenal winning the Champions League could hand fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur a place in the Champions League.

What's the maximum number of places in the UCL and in Europe?

Under the old system, a maximum of five clubs from one association could play in the Champions League. It meant that in the unlikely event teams from the same league won the Champions League and Europa League, yet both finished outside the UCL places domestically, then fourth would have to surrender their place and drop into the UEL.

But from 2024-25 it will be possible for seven Premier League teams to get a place in the UCL: The top four, fifth through league performance in Europe, and the winners of the UCL and the UEL.

It would also technically be possible to have 11 Premier League teams in Europe: The usual allocation of seven, plus the extra Champions League place and the titleholders of all three European competitions (if they finished outside a European position.)

How does the allocation break down for 2024-25?

Champions League titleholders (1)Europa League titleholders (1)England (4)Spain (4)Germany (4)Italy (4)France (3)Netherlands (2)Portugal (1)Belgium (1)Scotland (1)Austria (1)European Performance Spots (2)Qualifying rounds - champions path (5)Qualifying rounds - league path (2)

How will they decide the fixtures?

Controversially, it will be done by computer because UEFA has worked out that a manual would draw would take up to four hours to complete and require up to 900 balls. A team will be manually drawn from Pot 1 as a ceremonial act, and a computer will decide the eight opponents.

UEFA will create four pots of nine teams. The UCL titleholders will be in Pot 1, with all other pots filled according to the five-year club coefficient.

Each team will play two teams from each pot (one home, one away) to create an eight-match fixture list of roughly equal strength.

More "big matches" are created by the teams in the top pots being drawn against each other, which wasn't possible under the current system.

For instance, the teams in Pot 1 would draw two other clubs from Pot 1, 2, 3 and 4. Teams from the same association still cannot play each other in the group stage -- apart from leagues with 4+ teams who could play one other team from their country, if the draw puts them together.

This is how the seeding pots would look, based on a 36-team Champions League intake using the new system and the teams who would have qualified in the 2023-24 season.

Pot 1: Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, Barcelona, Internazionale, Sevilla

Pot 2: Borussia Dortmund, Atletico Madrid, RB Leipzig, Benfica, Napoli, FC Porto, Arsenal, Shakhtar Donetsk, FC Salzburg

Pot 3: Atalanta, Feyenoord, AC Milan, Braga, PSV Eindhoven, Lazio, Red Star Belgrade, FC Copenhagen, Young Boys

Pot 4: Real Sociedad, Marseille, Galatasaray, Celtic, Molde, Newcastle United, Union Berlin, Antwerp, Lens

So, Manchester United could have a "Swiss Model" fixture list of: Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Napoli, Atletico Madrid, Braga, Red Star Belgrade, Marseille and Celtic.

What happens if teams are level on points?

As teams only play each other once, head to head will not be used.

The first tiebreakers will be goal difference and goals scored, and then it will be the total points gained by the tied clubs' opponents. So, add the tally for all eight and get a total: the highest number is ranked first.

This essentially creates a difficulty level of the teams the tied clubs have played.

It will only be applied at the end of the league phase.

When will the games be played?

The Champions League group stage will run from September to January -- extending it beyond Christmas for the first time.

Matchday 1: Sept. 17-19Matchday 2: Oct. 1-2Matchday 3: Oct. 22-23Matchday 4: Nov. 5-6Matchday 5: Nov. 26-27Matchday 6: Dec. 10-11Matchday 7: Jan. 21-22Matchday 8: Jan. 29 (all 18 games played simultaneously)

Knockout round: Feb. 11-12 / 18-19Round of 16: March 4-5 / 11-12Quarterfinals: April 8-9 / 15-16Semifinals: April 29-30 / May 6-7Final: May 31

How will the knockout bracket work?

There will be two limited draws for the knockout rounds under the new system. One at the end of the league phase at the end of January, and another at the end of February for the round of 16.

UEFA has said that to "strengthen the synergy between the league and knockout phases" it wanted to make sure that "the pairings of the knockout phase will also be partly determined by the league phase rankings."

What does that mean? Well, if you don't make it so final league positions are important for the knockout rounds there will be a lot of games toward the end of the group stage which have nothing riding on them.

- Champions League in seismic overhaul with tennis-style knockout change

The new Champions League knockout system will see a tennis-style ranked bracket. The higher you finish in the group stage, the more favourable path to the final. For instance, the teams who finish first and second cannot meet until the final.

The two draws will create the pairings in the knockout round, and also the round of 16. From that point onwards, it's all mapped out.

Each team knockout round will have two options based upon their league position. For instance, the team who finishes ninth in the group stage will play the team who was placed 23rd or 24th.

The eight teams who go straight through to the round of 16 will have a few more options.

The teams who finish first and second will play the winners of a tie between those who finished 15th, 16th, 17th or 18th.

Those who finished third and fourth will meet the winners of a game between 13th, 14th, 19th and 20th.

Fifth and sixth take on winners of a knockout match between 11th, 12th, 21st and 22nd.

Seventh and eighth will face the winners of a 9th, 10th, 23rd and 24th matchup.

It means that it's impossible for the teams placed seventh and eighth to get, on paper, an easier round-of-16 tie that the group winners if there's a shock in the playoff round.

There is no country protection, but UEFA plans to prevent clashes between clubs from countries with political issues.

What else has changed?

There's been a modification to the way places are reallocated if the titleholder has qualified domestically, which happens pretty much every season. For instance, Manchester City won the Champions League and finished in the top four in the Premier League.

It used to be that the champions of the league ranked 11th in the UEFA coefficient table would be promoted from qualifying directly into the group stage. The beneficiaries this seasons were Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk.

This changes from next season when the club with the best individual coefficient of all the domestic champions in qualifying get the place. This has to be the champions of a country ranked outside the top 10. and this season would also have gone to Shakhtar. Indeed, as Shakhtar are ranked 25th in the UEFA coefficient ranking and no club above them is in a top 10 league, they are best placed to benefit again.

Also, if the Europa League titleholders qualify for the Champions League domestically, the club with the best individual coefficient of all the teams in Champions League qualifying (champions path and league path) go direct to the group stage. This season that would have been Dinamo Zagreb.

However, just to complicate matters there can be no leapfrogging within in a domestic league. So, let's say a league has two places in Champions League qualifying, for first and second. The team that finished second in the league has the best individual coefficient. But the team that finishes second cannot be promoted to the group stage over the champions of their league. If this happens, the place passes to the next-best coefficient in the qualifying paths.

What about the Europa League and the Europa Conference League?

Both competitions will also switch to the Swiss Model from 2024, and will increase in size from 32 teams to 36.

There will be eight group-stage games in the Europa League, but only six in the Europa Conference League.

There will again be playoffs to reach the round of 16, but no drop down for the losers from the Europa League into the Europa Conference League either.

This is good news for the teams that took place in the group stage. One of the four Europa League semifinalists this season dropped down from the Champions League, and two of the Europa Conference League final four were in the Europa League group stage.

Each of the three UEFA club competitions will have one exclusive matchweek where only one is in action.

In the Champions League exclusive week, matches will be played on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. In the Europa League exclusive week, gamers will be held on Wednesday and Thursday. In the Europa Conference League week, matches will take place on Thursday.