Italy will have four teams in the Champions League from 2018 following UEFA's new reform.
Serie A is currently represented in the Champions League by a maximum of three teams, one of which has to dispute a play-off round. This is due to Italy's international coefficient rankings being lower than those of the Premier League, the Spanish Liga or the German Bundesliga, all of which get four teams.
The UEFA Executive Committee has now passed a reform of the qualifying procedure, meaning that the top four clubs from the four top-ranked national associations will qualify directly for the group stage.
As Italy falls in that category, it means they will automatically get four teams directly in the Champions League groups starting from 2018.
A number of other changes have been implemented. The winner of the Europa League will now get immediate access to the Champions League groups stage, rather than having to dispute a play-off, and financial distribution will be reformatted and increased.
One passage of the reform summary released on UEFA's official site is particularly significant, as it reads: “Historical success in the competition will also be acknowledged in coefficient calculation (points for previous European titles with a weighted system for UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League titles).”
This means that Italy's coefficient will be comparatively strong by default, as their recent lack of success is counterbalanced by a rich history in the elite tournament.
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