Europa League winners to get automatic qualification for Champions League

UEFA have confirmed that Europa League winners will automatically qualify for the Champions League from 2015/16.

UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino announced the rule change, which will go a long way towards making the second-tier European tournament more attractive to clubs, at the UEFA Congress on Friday. 

Although full details have yet to be finalised, it is believed that that future Europa League winners and Champions League winners will no longer take a qualifying place from their own domestic leagues if they finish outside of the Champions League qualifying spots.

However, there will be a maximum of five clubs per country. In the unlikely event of two clubs from the same country winning the Champions League and Europa League but both finishing outside of the domestic qualifying places, then they would still qualify for the Champions League with the side finishing fourth missing out.

Tottenham finished fourth in the Barclays Premier League last year, but lost out on a Champions league spot when Chelsea, who finished fifth, secured the trophy and the final English place with victory over Bayern Munich.

The new rules also state that Europa League winners will usually qualify directly for the group phase of the Champions League, although they may have to go into the final qualifying round in certain circumstances.