The Europa league and the Champions league are the two European competitions, but one is massively bigger than the other.
The Europa league is seen as some kind of gesture of 'You didn't quite make Champions League this year.'
You get knocked out of the group stages in the Champions League and you get put into the Europa league. That's like getting knocked out of the FA Cup in England, and getting put into the Capital One Cup. Competitions should stay separate.
By separating the Europa league and the Champions League you will get a much better tournament, with teams who really want to play in it, playing in it, and when you're knocked out, you're out.
Of course, this won't fix that one competition is valued more than the other, but it will be seen as a trophy nonetheless. Without separation the Europa League just feels like a sweetener for the ex-Champions league teams and quite often, those Champions League teams will go and knock out an Europa League team who have come all this way to get knocked out by a team that, really, should not be in the competition.
To show an example of this, look at Chelsea now. They were knocked out of the group stages of the Champions League, the first ever European Champions do so, and now they are in the Europa League final. Isn't this unfair for FC Basel, who made a tremendous effort to get as far as they did, to get beaten by Chelsea, and by getting beat, losing their final. But was it ever their final?
I suppose you can say that the European competitions are unique and therefore linking is appropriate and it makes competitions harder to win. It is a bit embarrassing for Chelsea to end up in this competition, so soon after winning the Champions league, they don't deserve to fall back into the Europa league.
The rules obviously stay the same this year, and Chelsea face Benfica who also are from the Champions League. All those who qualified for the Europa league this year have been knocked out and two teams that haven't taken part in the entire competition are in the final.
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