Thursday May 23 2013
Europa winners for Champions

The winners of the Europa League trophy are set to be given automatic entry into the Champions League from 2015-16.

UEFA are due to unveil the plans in London tomorrow during the Executive Committee meeting.

In a bid to increase interest in the Europa League, which already replaced the UEFA Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup, there will be an extra prize on top of the silverware.

The winners of the Europa League will gain qualification for the group phase of the Champions League the following season.

Curiously, the two Finalists this year – Chelsea and Benfica – had both gone into the Europa League after their elimination from the Champions League.

Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis explained why Serie A sides were not too upset to go out of the tournament early.

“The Champions League brings in money, whereas the Europa League costs clubs money. The Europa League should be abolished, as it is of no interest to the media, nor to the fans seeing as the stadiums are often half-empty.

“This competition does not bring a healthy economic return for the clubs. Instead, it just ruins the domestic campaigns because teams who play on two fronts inevitably lose something in terms of their League form.”

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