Amsterdam football club Ajax will not have to take part in preliminary rounds to qualify for the new season’s Champions League, now Lyon has been defeated 3-0 by Bayern Munich in the current competition.
Lyon failed to qualify via the French league and their only hope of qualifying for the European competition was to win the Champions League. Wednesday’s defeat now clears the way for Ajax, as Dutch champions, to join at the group stage instead.
This is the third year in a row that Ajax have qualified for top flight competition, although in 2019 and 2018, when they reached the semi-finals, they had to go through qualifying rounds. Placement alone gives the club some €40m in extra income.
AZ of Alkmaar, which is also hoping for a place in the group stage, do have to go through several qualifying rounds. Their campaign starts on August 26 at home against Viktoria Plzen.
The new Champions League competition starts on October 20.
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