UEFA have announced changes in the Champions League qualifying rules and revealed that the top four clubs from Europe’s four top-flight leagues will automatically qualify for the group stage.
UEFA confirmed that new set of rules would be put to use from the 2018/19 season onward and will last till the end of the 2020/21 season.
The new rules put forward by UEFA will bring an end to the existing group stage qualifying playoffs between the 4th placed clubs from Europe’s top four leagues.
UEFA statement stated the key changes as follows:
“The UEFA Europa League winners will automatically qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stage (currently they can potentially take part in a play-off round).
“The top four clubs from the four top-ranked national associations will now qualify automatically for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.
“A new system for the club coefficients: clubs will be judged on their own records (deletion of the country share for individual club coefficient unless that coefficient is lower than 20% of the association’s coefficient).
“Historical success in the competition will also be acknowledged in coefficient calculation (points for previous European titles with a weighted system for UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League titles).”
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) August 26, 2016
UEFA accentuated that the existing 32-team format of Champions League will remain intact. The governing body of European football also stressed that there will be a higher financial distribution between the clubs in both the Europa League and Champions League. It was also said that ‘’market pool share will go down and “sporting performance” will be appreciated and better rewarded.