Next season, the winners of the Europa League will again be granted a place in the following season’s Champions League along with the winners of the Champions League themselves.
But UEFA will limit the number of entrants from one country to just five teams.
So if the Premier League table remains as it is at the moment, if fifth-placed Manchester United win the Champions League and Chelsea, currently sixth, lift the Europa League, they will both get a place in the more senior competition.
As a result, the fourth-placed team, currently Arsenal, would only get to play in the Europa League.
It echoes the situation in 2012 when Tottenham thought they had made the Champions League by finishing fourth only to be knocked out under the old system by Chelsea when they won the final under Roberto Di Matteo.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW
Tottenham and Manchester City will face each other in an all-English quarter-final of the Champions League next month.
United and Liverpool will meet in the semi-finals if they reach the last four, with Tottenham or Manchester City facing the winner of the quarter-final between Ajax and Juventus.
The first legs of the quarter-finals will take place on April 9 and 10, with the second legs on April 16 and 17.
Manchester City won both of their Premier League ties with Tottenham last season and also beat Mauricio Pochettino’s side at Wembley earlier in this campaign. The two teams meet again in the league just days after the second leg, on April 20.
Manchester United’s tie against Barcelona means caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will enjoy another trip to the Nou Camp, where he scored the winner in United’s Champions League final win over Bayern Munich in 1999.
United were drawn as the away team for the first leg but the tie had to be reversed, as UEFA had stipulated in advance following advice from local authorities that they and City could not play at home on successive nights.
Former Liverpool goalkeeper Chris Kirkland was delighted by the draw, telling Sky Sports News: “I’d prefer being at home for the second leg but I’m extremely happy.
“Let’s not disrespect Porto because they got to this stage for a reason, but they won’t be looking forward to that tie.”
Former Manchester City boss Stuart Pearce added: “I think Liverpool have gone as favourites now for the competition, being that side of the draw.”
Speaking about Manchester United’s tie with Barcelona, former Old Trafford boss David Moyes said: “It’s an incredibly tough draw but a great draw. After beating Paris St Germain you can take anybody on.
“A great occasion, the sort of games that Manchester United are used to and it will be a great night.”