The Uefa cup replaced the old Inter Cities Fairs cup in 1972 and has since became the Europa League. It was played as a two legged final until 1997 with the finals being settled on away goals or penatlies if needed. The first final was between two English clubs Tottenham Hotspurs (Spurs) & Wolverhampton Wanderers, and English teams did well in the competition in the early years with Liverpool winning in 1973 & 1976 and Spurs finishing runners up in 1974.
In the 39 finals to date Italian, German, Spanish & English clubs have dominated winning 27 of those finals and as of 2010 the most successful clubs have been Inter Milan Juventus & Liverpool with 3 wins each.
The competition now has a league structure to it in keeping with the Champions League and although no where near as lucrative it does attract large TV audiences and for some of the smaller clubs in Europe now offers their only chance of European success.