UEFA announced that the Champions League format will be changed from the 2018/19 season to allow the top four leagues in Europe – currently England, Italy, Spain and Germany – a guaranteed four places each in the group stages.
Currently the top three leagues receive three guaranteed spots plus a chance for an additional team to qualify through playoffs – the fourth league has two guaranteed spots with an additional two teams qualifying through the playoffs.
The association coefficient, which determines the ranking of countries in the access list, will remain unchanged.
The move could hurt leagues outside the big four including the Turkish Super Lig which is currently 10th in the coefficient rankings.
As things stand the Super Lig champion would still be guaranteed an automatic group stage place for the Super Lig and the runner up will still be eligible for a play-off spot.
The Turkish league must maintain or improve upon being the inside the top 10 leagues in Europe to maintain a guaranteed Champions League group stage spot under the new rulings.
Speaking about the amendments, UEFA General Secretary ad interim Theodore Theodoridis said: “The evolution of UEFA’s club competitions is the result of a wide-ranging consultative process involving all stakeholders and taking into account a wide range of expertise and perspectives.
“The amendments made will continue to ensure qualification based on sporting merit, and the right of all associations and their clubs to compete in Europe’s elite club competitions.
“We are happy that European football remains united behind the concepts of solidarity, fair competition, fair distribution and good governance.”
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) August 26, 2016
Teams in bold had to qualify through the playoff stages – all would qualify directly after the rule changes.