Premier League clubs could be offered cash incentives to take the Europa League seriously

 
Joe Hall
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Qarabag FK v Tottenham Hotspur FC - UEFA Europa League
Happy distraction? Spurs are currently challenged with juggling the Europa League and a title challenge (Source: Getty)

The Premier League is considering offering its clubs in the Europa League cash incentives to take the competition seriously in order to retain its Uefa coefficient ranking.

English clubs are in danger of losing one of their four Champions League spots to Italy following recent under-performance in Uefa competition from Premier League clubs.

Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United play Europa League knockout ties on Thursday, but Spurs may be tempted to focus their energies on domestic duties with the league title up for grabs.

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Although Fulham and Chelsea have both reached the final of the competition this decade, such an attitude has been prevalent amongst English clubs in the Europa League in recent years.

The consequence has been that England have slipped to third in Uefa's coefficient ranking table - based on a nation's clubs over the last five years - and are in danger of being leapfrogged again by Italy who have had three Europa League semi-finalists in the last two years while England have had none.

According to reports, proposals to offer a portion of the Premier League's new £8.3bn TV deal as a bonus for clubs in the Europa League were discussed at the league's stakeholder meeting last week.

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