Big changes to Champions League qualifying announced
Europe's top four leagues will have four automatic places in the Champions League group stage from the 2018-19 season onwards, European football's governing body UEFA has announced.
UEFA announced at a press conference on Friday that Europe's leading leagues in their co-efficient rankings - currently the Premier League, Spain's LaLiga, Germany's Bundesliga and Italy's Serie A - will all have automatic qualification for top-four finishers.
Under the current system there are automatic spots for the top three English, Spanish and German clubs, with a fourth having to qualify through a play-off.
In Italy only the top two qualify automatically with third contesting a play-off, which their clubs have failed to negotiate for the last three seasons.