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Cash incentives to do well in Europa League

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Premier League clubs may be offered cash incentives to do as well as possible in the Europa League. The plan is one of a number of measures that have been discussed to ensure that the top flight does not lose its fourth slot in the Champions League to a resurgent Serie A.

Italy made up more than half their deficit to England in Uefa's coefficient table in 2015.   They could leap ahead next season leaving the Premier League with only three slots from 2018.

Only one Premier League club have reached the semi-final of the Europa League since 2010 and there has been no English side in the quarter finals in either of the past two seasons.

Champions League participation is a key element in the revenues of top clubs and also carries with it considerable prestige and a raised profile.   This in turn brings in lucrative commercial sponsorships which in some cases have clauses leading to reduced payments in the event of a continuing absence from the competition.