Chelsea boss Tuchel critical of new Champions League format

Thomas Tuchel has become the latest manager to voice his concerns about the new Champions League format, just before Chelsea’s semi-final clash against Real Madrid.

The German feels last week’s European Super League saga allowed the Champions League changes to go under the radar.

Counterparts Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have both expressed their discontent over the increase in games, as well as the lack of consultation with players and managers.


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Tuchel isn’t a fan either: “I’m not sure if I like it because I can only see more games out of it,” he said. “And more games in a schedule that we have… it’s very hard for me to be excited at all.

“All these discussions about Super League made (everyone) forget that we have now a new format of Champions League very soon.”

The competition looks set to involve 36 teams, rather than the standard 32, from the 2024/25 season onwards. That means a new group stage with all teams playing at least 10 fixtures.

“Did they ask any coach about this?” Tuchel continued. “I don’t think so. They did not ask me. Did they ask any player about it? I don’t think so.

“We have so many new formats – Nations League, a new World Championship for clubs coming soon… so much new stuff, so many more games, more teams in the European Championship in the summer.

“It’s just more and more games – not more quality, just more games.

“Who should play these games? And at the same time we have three substitutes here in the Premier League, in the toughest competitions. No, I’m not happy about this format, not at all.”

There are worries that the Champions League changes will impact midweek league fixtures across Europe. They could also hinder domestic competitions such as the Carabao Cup and FA Cup, which already struggle in a tight schedule.

The added games could lead to more players suffering from burnout, with symptoms including mental fatigue and stress.

Players are already having to prepare themselves for two busy years of international football. In June, the European Championship will kick-off after a year delay.

Then in 2022 there is the Qatar World Cup, which will take place in winter due to the country’s high temperatures.

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