UEFA will also offer more qualifying places for the big four leagues from next season.

UEFA have announced that Champions League games will kick-off at the staggered times of 5.55pm and 8pm rather than the traditional 7.45pm start time - from the 2018/19 season. 

The changes will see Europe's elite competition broadly follow the scheduling of games in the current Europa League model. 

In a major overhaul of the qualifying system, the top four teams in Spain, England, Germany and Italy will now automatically qualify for the group stages of the Champions League. 

They'll be joined by the Champions League winners, Europa League champions, the two from France and Russia and the champions of Portugal, Ukraine, Belgium and Turkey in advancing straight to the group stage. 

With 26 rather than the current 22 automatically reaching the groups, it means only six places will be available in the competition from the playoffs. 

17 teams will now qualify for the Europa League group stages directly with a further 10 teams dropping into the competition from the Champions League playoffs and third qualifying round.