What is the Swiss model?
It is a new format for the Champions League after this current cycle of the competition, which ends in 2024.
The 32-team group stage would be eliminated. Instead, there would be a 36-team ‘Swiss model’ league, in which each club will play 10 games: five at home, five away.
The fixtures will be based on seedings and the teams will be ranked from one to 36.
The top eight will advance automatically to a 16-team knockout round, and the next 16 teams will go into a play-off round to decide those final eight slots.
Who would the extra four places go to?
The UEFA proposal is to give one of the four new slots to the team that finishes fourth in the fifth-strongest league, which is currently France but Portugal is closing in.
That would mean the ‘Big Five’ leagues would all have four guaranteed places in the Champions League each.
European football’s governing body is proposing to award the three other slots on the basis of historic performance in European competitions over the previous five seasons. This would provide a safety net for teams with strong European pedigrees that have relatively poor domestic seasons.
For example, one or more of the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ could finish in one of the Europa or Europa Conference League positions — fifth to seventh — and be promoted to the Champions League.
The European Leagues, which represents 36 domestic leagues in 30 countries, believes this is unfair and would distort domestic and European competitions.
They want those three extra slots to go to the domestic champions of leagues that currently have to come through the qualifying rounds.
This could mean the champions of countries such as Denmark, Scotland and Switzerland no longer have to play a tricky qualifying round to get to the Champions League.
What about the financial impact?
This is unclear. The financial distribution is probably not going to be settled next week.
The new format would mean Europe’s elite clubs playing each other more often and so there would be more high-profile matches.
That would appeal to broadcasters.
Is there anything else I need to know?
Yes. The European Leagues are concerned 10 guaranteed games is too many and that four extra exclusive mid-week matchdays would make life very difficult for domestic leagues and cups.
To find out more Go Deeper with The Athletic’s Matt Slater below.
(Photo: VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)