The UEFA champions league qualification rules have changed thus as from next season, the team finishing fourth in the Premier League does not need to play a qualifier but instead go straight into the group stage.
This is the most notable of a series of changes made in the champions league qualification rules by UEFA which you will find on the competition's official website.
The new champions league qualification rules come into effect ahead of the 2018/19 Champions League, which now means that the teams who finish in the top four in the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A as well as the Bundesliga will get automatic qualification to the last 32.
And of course, winners of the preceding season's Champions League and Europa League will also be in the groups. But, the numbers from other leagues were reduced: ‘Top two from associations that are ranked 5th and 6th- France, Russia . Champions of associations that are ranked 7th to 10th- Portugal, Ukraine, Belgium, Turkey .’
This is according to the UEFA access list as well as the association coefficients from the end of the 2016/17 campaign.
While the new UEFA champions league qualification rules are great news for those in Europe's top leagues, certain changes may possibly not be as well-received by champions of other divisions.
Scottish Premier League giants Celtic are in particular not likely to be impressed. BBC noted how the Hoops – who on a regular basis capture their country's league crown – will have to to win four two-legged ties to get to the group stage—three qualifying rounds as well as a playoff round.
Such an overstuffed, pre-group schedule is created by an extended qualifying period. It will have two paths, with the first featuring champions from the associations that are ranked 11th and below, according to the tournament's official site.
The next route will consist of third-placed teams from France and Russia and will be joined by the runners-up of the associations that are ranked seventh to 15th.
Two group spots are up for the take for the teams passing through this route, who have to play three rounds of matches.
On top of the changes in the champions league qualification rules, kick-off times will also be staggered by UEFA as from next season, with the traditional 7.45pm kick-off to be replaced by 5.55pm and 8 pm.
All teams who are eliminated from the qualifiers will join up with 17 other teams who qualify automatically for the UEFA Europa League, according to UEFA.com.
In other words, with the new UEFA champions league qualification rules, teams who are unable to make it through to the Champions’ League group stage will get another chance in Europe's second-tier competition.
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- 2018/19 UEFA Champions League List of Clubs
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This article was most recently revised and updated 1 year ago