UEFA has confirmed the new structure for the Champions League with Serie A receiving four automatic group stage places.
Earlier today, UEFA announced the new changes for the Champions League as the current rules have seen the tournament lose some prestige, particularly in the Group Stage.
The new regulations will benefit Serie A as the top four teams in Italy will now go straight into the Group Stages rather than the current rules which see the top two go into the group stages automatically and the third placed team go into a play-off match.
In addition to the changes to Serie A, the 2018-19 Champions League will mark a new era for UEFA as they look to move on from former UEFA President and Juventus legend Michel Platini’s policies.
Next season’s Champions League will see 26 teams automatically qualify for the group stages and these 26 teams will be: the holders, the Europa League winners, the top four from UEFA associations ranked 1st to 4th, the top two teams from UEFA associations ranked 5th and 6th, and the champions of associations ranked from 7th to 10th.
To narrow it down the way it stands Spain, England, Italy and Germany’s top four placed teams, France and Russia’s top two teams, and the respective champions of Portugal, Ukraine, Belgium and Turkey will qualify for the group stages automatically.
There are some modifications to the rule though as if the winners of the Champions League have already qualified for the tournament via league position, the champions of the Czech First League will receive an automatic place in the group stages. Consequently, if the Europa League winners have already qualified for the group stage, the third-placed team in France’s Ligue 1 will qualify automatically instead.
The champions of the UEFA associations ranked 11th and below will now compete in a brand new Champions Route in order to qualify for the Champions League with any team that is eliminated gaining access to the Europa League instead.
In addition to the Champions League being revamped there are changes to the Europa League as well. From next season Spain, England, Italy, Germany and France will each have two teams automatically qualified for the group stage, with one team from the UEFA associations ranked from 6th to 12th.
Ten teams will then enter the Europa League group stages directly from the Champions League and these will be six teams eliminated in the league path and four teams eliminated in the Champions Route play-offs.