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Weekend Premier League predictions

Premier League
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By ESPN Staff

Survey: Europa should have UCL incentive

A survey has found that a majority of clubs would support the Europa League winners or finalists qualifying for the Champions League.

The survey by European Clubs Association (ECA), which represents 207 of the top clubs in Europe, revealed 61% of the clubs asked would welcome the extra incentive for the Europa League.

Eighty-seven of the ECA's member clubs from 36 countries responded to the survey. The results were as follows:

• 75% expressed "satisfaction" or "extreme satisfaction" with the current structure and format of UEFA's club competitions

• 92% believe the Champions League and the Europa League should continue to exist in parallel

• 61% would welcome offering the Europa League winner and/or finalists direct qualification for the Champions League group stage the following season.

An ECA statement said: "The results of the survey clearly show that European clubs are very happy with the current competitions and do not wish to see major changes to their structure.

"The option whereby the Europa League winner/finalists automatically qualify for the Champions League group stage of the new season raised some interest and support provided that the effects on the access list are carefully considered."

UEFA president Michel Platini has said that all proposals will be considered, with any changes starting in 2015.

The clubs were unable to agree on whether third-party ownership (TPO) - where players can be owned or part-owned by agents or other individuals rather than clubs - should be prohibited, as it is in England.

The ECA statement added: "It was made clear that TPO is a very complex phenomenon as there are many different aspects to the way it operates. Consequently, there is no unanimity among ECA members as to whether TPO should be banned or not. ECA will further assess the merits and impact of TPO on the game and the repercussions of a possible ban."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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