I've read the Rules and Regulations document for the Champions League a couple of times since they were released on Monday. They answer some questions but leave some critical issues unresolved. It's going to take several posts to summarize the competition and state all of the comments that I want to make.
One important disclaimer is that I AM NOT A LAWYER. I say that because there are some terms and clauses in the R&R document that have raised questions in my mind, and I am not certain how they could be interpreted. I will back-reference to the document and I invite comments.
Anyway, here are some new details about the competition that haven't been revealed before:
- Teams must submit a 30-man roster at two opportunities: at the start of the Champions League season, and between the end of the Group Stage and the start of the knockout rounds. Once someone is on the roster list, they cannot be removed, and they're cup-tied as well.
- From that 30-man roster, a 23-man squad list must be released 48 hours before kickoff, and there can only be a maximum of seven substitutes on the bench.
- All games will be played at night, at times/dates fixed by CONCACAF.
- Away goals count in the knockout rounds, unless the series goes to extra time.
- In the group stage, ties on points are resolved:
- Points won in head-to-head results
- Goal difference in head-to-head results
- Away goals in head-to-head results
- Goal difference in all group matches
- Away goals in all group matches
- Draw lots
- After the group stage, there will be a second draw for the knockout rounds with the complete bracket announced at that time.
- Group winners host the second leg of their quarterfinal round series.
- Teams from the same country are NOT kept apart after the group stage.
- The winner of the Champions League does NOT get automatic entry to next year's competition. (Pachuca, last season's Champions' Cup winner, didn't qualify as champions or runners-up, so they won't be participating.)
My next post on the R&R document will discuss the financial regulations. To give a brief summary, CONCACAF controls all revenue streams associated with the CCL. The home team receives all of the gate receipts (minus CONCACAF's 5% cut) and is reimbursed for costs incurred by shuttling CONCACAF referees and officials around. The away team is partially reimbursed for travel.
UPDATE (7/31): I'm looking through my posts on the CCL Regulations and I didn't mention refereeing (Section 14). It didn't quite fit into the other posts, and there's not enough material to merit its own post, so I'll just place it here:
- For each match, there are two referees and two assistant referees, appointed by the CONCACAF Referees' Committee.
- The refereeing crew must be from a country whose club is not in the same group as the match being played (Sect. 14.2). So assuming that all four of the American and Mexican teams in the preliminary round advance, there will be only be referees from Canada, Central America, and the Caribbean in the Group Stage.
- The fourth official, however, can be selected from any country, including that of the host team (Sect. 14.3).