UEFA president Michel Platini's plan to allow domestic cup winners to qualify for the Champions League has failed.
The news means that three teams from the Premier League will qualify automatically for the competition.
However, the fourth-placed side in England will play two qualification rounds instead of one, while the champions of Europe's leading 12 countries, currently including Scotland, will also be guaranteed a place in the group phase.
Platini is believed to have agreed to drop the domestic cup plan so that six places in the group stage of the Champions League are reserved for league champions from the bottom 40 countries in Europe in 2009.
Platini's domestic cup plan failed to win support from the five big football associations.
UEFA's strategy council, made up of representatives from UEFA, the leagues, the clubs and the players, agreed to the compromise which will now go to UEFA's executive committee on December 1 for a final decision.