7

As far as I know, UEFA allocates some number of places in the European competitions based on country coefficients.

However, I have seen (if I remember correctly) various rules in various countries:

  • Usually the spots in Champions League and the first spots in Europa league are given based on the league table.
  • At least in some countries, I have seen that that cup winners have earned UEFA Europa Leagues spot, too. Moreover, some countries have more than one cup.
  • Sometimes the rule is that if a winner of a cup qualifies for some European tournament through the position in the league table, the runner-up is given the spot. (For example, here is a quote from Wikipedia article on 2010-11 FA Cup: ...because Manchester City qualified for the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League via their top-four finish in the 2010–11 Premier League, Stoke qualified for the 2011–12 UEFA Europa League as runners-up.)
  • Sometimes if a cup winner qualifies through their position in the league competition, the spot is not given to the runner-up but to the next team in the league table. (For example, in the Wikipedia article about 2008-09 Premier League I read that: Due to Manchester United winning the League Cup,their place was given to the seventh-placed team in the league. Similarly, the current revision of the article 2013-14 Premier Leagues says that: Since the 2013–14 Football League Cup winners (Manchester City) would at this point qualify for the 2014–15 UEFA Champions League the 6th placed team would qualify for third qualifying round of UEFA Europa League. So the 2013-14 League Cup runner up, Sunderland, did no receive a spot in European competitions.)

So my question is:

Who decides how are the spots allocated to national association divided between first teams in the league table and cup winners? Is this entirely up to the national association, or does UEFA have some rules about this?

2

There is a good answer on yahoo for it. Basically it varies from country to country because of the co-efficient system UEFA uses, England, Spain and Germany all have clubs entering into Europe because of how their teams have performed over the last few years in Europe. UEFA did introduce the rule about winners of the cups going to the Europa League to give teams more incentive in the domestic cups.

Regarding Man Utd in 2008, they beat Spurs in the final and spurs would have already qualified through their league position so in that case it goes to the 7th placed team. Stoke were entered into the UEFA cup when they finished runners up because they were outside the top 6 in the league that year.

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