Champions League: Europe’s top leagues to get four group-stage spots

Story highlights

UEFA guarantees top leagues four Champions League group-stage spots

Spain, Germany, England and Italy currently set to benefit

UEFA also "significantly" increasing financial distribution to clubs

CNN  — 

Life just got a little bit easier for the clubs of European football’s top four leagues after UEFA, the sport’s governing body on the continent, announced that each division will have four guaranteed places in the Champions League group stage from the start of 2018-19 season.

The current top four leagues in Europe – according to UEFA’s coefficient rankings – are the Spanish La Liga, German Bundesliga, English Premier League and Italian Serie A.

Under the present system, La Liga, the Bundesliga and the Premier League are guaranteed three places in the group stage, with a fourth spot possible through the playoff round, while Serie A is sure of two places and a third available through the playoff round.

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Leicester's Fuchs on UEFA Champions League
03:08 - Source: CNN

France’s Ligue 1, Russia’s Premier League and Portugal’s Primeira Liga sit fifth, sixth and seventh respectively in UEFA’s coefficient rankings, although they currently remain some distance behind the top four divisions.

The new changes mean that 16 of the 32 Champions League group-stage spots will now be guaranteed to teams in Europe’s top four leagues.

The announcement comes just a day after UEFA presidential candidate, Aleksander Ceferin, warned that a potential breakaway league of Europe’s top clubs could lead to war between teams and the governing body.

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UEFA chief of communications and media, Pedro Pinto, told CNN Friday that the changes will help to create a better Champions L