Europa League winners to be given Champions League spot?

Harold Cunningham

In a small but significant reform, UEFA could grant Europa League winners a berth in the Champions League, starting in 2015.

UEFA will announce tomorrow whether they will grant Europa League winners a Champions League spot beginning in 2015.

The reform would be a minor one, although potentially significant, as it could allow teams who go on good runs to test themselves at the biggest stage. Despite that, most of the list of recent Europa League winners features teams that would probably be more likely competing at Champions League level anyway - but there is an opportunity to encourage smaller clubs to take the competition more seriously.

A look at England points to how this could make an effect - Tottenham Hotspur put more energy into the Premier League towards the end of their campaign, but suffered a Europa League exit and ended up with no Champions League spot at the end of the season. After this rule came into place, they probably would've prioritised the competition in order to compete the following year.

In addition, if the winner, as is common, has already qualified for the Champions League and the runner-up is given the Champions League place instead, that could have seen the likes of Fulham at Europe's top table. It's not known exactly whether this will be the case, or what stage the winners would enter the Champions League, but UEFA is expected to confirm their plans tomorrow in what will be seen as a bid to boost the prestige of the lesser tournament.

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