Millennium Post

Clubs keen to reward Europa League finalists

Europe’s top football clubs are enthusiastic about giving automatic Champions League places to finalists in the second-tier Europa League.

The 200-member European Club Association says most members responding to a survey about UEFA club competitions backed introducing the idea in 2015.

UEFA wants to boost clubs’ and broadcasters’ interest in the Europa League. One option is fast-tracking entries to the lucrative group stage of the next season’s Champions League which attracts more than (euro) 1.3 billion ($1.76 billion) in revenue annually. The ECA says 61 percent of respondents “would welcome” the idea, though the effect on allocating 32 group places across UEFA member countries needed to be considered.

The ECA says clubs overwhelmingly want the Europa League, for lower-ranked teams and domestic cup winners, to survive alongside the elite Champions League.
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