European football governing body, UEFA have announced that the top four leagues in the continent will be guaranteed four automatic slots in the group phase of the Champions League from the 2018-2019 season.
The current top four according to UEFA’s rankings are Spain, Germany, England and Italy.
The current format sees the top three in Spain, Germany and England advance to the group phase, while the fourth-placed teams go into the play-off round. Only the top two in Italy move directly into the group phase.
While the entry system has been adjusted, the competition will retain its current format, with 32 teams drawn in eight groups of four for the right to be one of 16 sides to make it through to the knockout stages.
UEFA also announced that the Europa League winners will automatically qualify for the Champions League group stage under the new system.