Uefa have announced a serie of rule changes to next season’s Champions League and Europa League competitions. Some of the changes have already been announced. However, some haven’t previously been trailed.
It was already known that matches will begin at staggered times and that has been confirmed by Uefa. From next season, games in the group stages will kick off at 5.55pm or 8pm UK time (1755 or 2100 CET). Two matches in each Tuesday or Wednesday fixture schedule will kick off at the earlier time with the other two games kicking off at the later hour.
The new ruling will only apply to the group stages and both matches in the final round of each group will kick off at the same time.
However, from the Round of 16 onwards all games will kick off at 8pm UK time.
In the Europa League there will still be staggered kick-off times at 5.55pm and 8pm UK time. Matches in the Round of 32 and the Round of 16 will also kick off at staggered times. From the quarter-finals onwards all matches will start at 8pm UK time (2100 CET).
There is also a change in substitutions. An additional change will be allowed in extra time of matches in the knockout stages. That change will not affect the other three substitutions.
In the finals of the Champions League, the Europa League and the Uefa Super Cup, teams will be allowed to name a squad of 23 players instead of 18 as at present. It means coaches will be able to name their substitutes from 12 available.
For the group stages of the two competitions teams will be able to add three new players to their squads. This is in line with the situation in domestic leagues where the transfer window does not affect a team’s ability to add new players for the second half of the season.
Finally, a team that has won the Europa League three times on the trot or a minimum of five times will be able to wear a multiple-winner badge from next season. Sevilla are the only club to qualify at present.