Uefa Cup given new name in revamp
Saturday, 27 September 2008

The new name will underline the tournament's "special character"The Uefa Cup is to be renamed the Uefa Europa League from next season, with the competition set to be extended, reports BBC.

The new-look league will have 48 clubs in 12 groups of four, with teams playing each other home and away as opposed to just once as it stands now.

The top two in each group then join the eight third-placed Champions League clubs in a 32-club knock-out stage.
 
However, under the new format beaten cup finalists will no longer qualify for the competition.
 
Millwall and West Ham have both qualified as beaten FA Cup runners-up in recent years, but Uefa says this will no longer be the case, even if the winners have already qualified for the Champions League.
 
The competition will also have its TV rights sold centrally, in the same way as the Champions League, which should increase income to clubs.
"I am convinced the new format will give the Uefa Europa League a successful new impetus," said Uefa president Michel Platini.
 
"These changes will improve this historic competition, which is very important for Uefa and for European football as it gives more fans, players and clubs the thrill of European club football."
 
A statement on the Uefa website adds: "The new name and logo will help underline the tournament's special character and unique sporting appeal.
 
"Uefa's ambition in making these changes is to rejuvenate the competition in the light of the new European football landscape, which has shifted significantly with the continued success of the Champions League, so that the Uefa Europa League can establish itself as a major competition."

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