Serie A will get 4 automatic spots to the group stages of the UCL
Serie A will get 4 automatic spots to the group stages of the UEFA Champions League starting in 2018-19.
Half of the participants in the group stage will be from 4 nations. But just looking at this season and last season, that percent was already at 43.75% for this season and 46.875% for last season for those same four nations.
I think that the fairest thing was to let the 4th team do the playoff and not being in the Champions League directly...
4th place should never go directly into the group stage.
If leagues finish as it stands right now, Lazio would qualify directly and Porto would have to go to play offs to even get in. How does that seem fair in terms of team quality?
Also, how are countries suppose to overtake the top 4 now that they get 4 Champions League teams each year and that in on itself grants them many points?
If it was hard enough to overtake them as it is, it might just be impossible to do so when this comes into place.
I have seen people criticize this as a handout to Serie A, but don't forget that this is as much of a handout to Premier League. As it stands now Serie A will be benefiting from this rule change in 2018-19, but the league to benefit from it in 2020-21 is Premier League, while it's really close between the two for 2019-20. Personally I don't mind. These four leagues are well above the rest, so to me it only makes sense that Italy/England get the same amount of teams in CL as Spain and Germany instead of getting the same amount as France and Portugal/Russia that are pretty far behind the other leagues.
The fact that the fourth team doesn't have to qualify, however, is the thing to criticize.