UEFA are considering winners of the Europa League (from 2015) will win a place in the Champions League.
It's not as good as it might sound.
For starters, the competitions identity is clouded. It's an afterthought that currently exists to appease faltering clubs that fall out of the CL after the group stage. If UEFA announced that no side from the Champions League would parachute into the Europa League then we might start to see less of an indenity crisis and a true competition begin to reshape into something worth winning, not because of add-ons but because it matters.
But it doesn't matter because only one competition does in this dear old modern landscape we love to hate and hate to love.
Brutally stated by @drwinston001 on Twitter, one of the key areas that will allow this competition to slowly move out of the shadow of its bigger bullying brother is if UEFA levelled out the prize money between the two competitions. Two key points to this.
The first is - it will close the financial gap between the clubs competing in the CL and EL. The second is a by-product of the first. The competitiveness of said clubs, due to that extra financial clout, would make them stronger meaning that any potential for the current dominant top tier of the hierarchy to push further away would be held back.
But that isn't the point is it? If we retain a cynical outlook the rich (who can't possibly fail not to get richer) are comfortably allowed to do just that (get richer) and the gulf between them and the rest will grow, holding down any potential for a mass change at the top. The CL changed everything. That and the television money earned domestically. The big time players have already been defined and there is no necessity for that to change. Because why would they want to risk the power and the money for any upstart to come within punching reach of a knock-out blow?
My cynical outlook concludes with the fabled European Super League that will one day soon replace the Champions League.
From a Tottenham perspective, I'm hoping by 2015, it doesn't matter too much as we should be finishing 3rd or better (aim high right?). However, if the Premier League era is about to shift towards a time-share where clubs are swapping around in the top positions, if we do happen to find our way into the Europa League post 2015, do we take it seriously? If we don't or we get knocked out, then finish fourth, someone who has finished well below us in the league but has won the EL might well take the CL place from us.
That's a prominent question. To clarify - if someone (in England) wins the EL and we (or anyone else) happened to finish 4th - does that place become void to avoid 5 clubs representing the same country in the CL?
Confused? Don't be. UEFA are making it up as they go along. The rules change to make sure they fit whatever whimsical agenda currently floating around in their big empty heads.
How does the winner of the UEFA Cup defend it if they've qualified for the CL the following season? Get knocked out of that to drop back into it?
Any chance of a Champions League spot just going to a champion or domestic cup winner? Of course not. Now that would be whimsical.
What a mess.
Twitter time-line action from: