Five Champions League places for Premier League?

16 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
Five Champions League places for Premier League? UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin

The ManicaPost


PREMIER League clubs are in the driving seat to claim a bonus Champions League spot next season — but how does it work?

For the first time, five Premier League teams could qualify for the Champions League through their league position.


Traditionally, there has only been four clubs who have qualified through their league place.

This will be the final season of the existing format — 32 teams in the group phase, split up into eight groups of four, with the top two progressing.

A change will see 36 teams competing in the competition in a ‘Swiss league’ style allowing for an additional place to be allocated to the two countries whose clubs perform best across all UEFA competitions.

Italy and England currently hold those positions, with Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, West Ham, Brighton and Aston Villa all active across UEFA competitions — only Manchester United and Newcastle failed to progress to the knockout stages.

From 32 to 36 — who gets the additional places?

· One place will go to the club ranked third in the championship of the association in fifth position in the UEFA national association ranking

· One place will be awarded to a domestic champion by extending from four to five the number of clubs qualifying via the so-called ‘Champions Path’

· The final two places will go to the associations with the best collective performance by their clubs in the previous season (total number of points obtained divided by the number of participating clubs)

Regarding the final bullet point, those two associations will earn one place for the club best ranked in the domestic league behind the UEFA Champions League positions.

For example, based on the collective performance of their clubs last season, England and Italy would have both had an additional spot in the Champions League — meaning Liverpool and Atlanta — both fifth in their respective leagues — would have entered the competition.

Has the Premier League had five CL participants before?

Previously in 2005, when Liverpool won the Champions League but finished outside of the top four, the Premier League was granted five potential Champions League berths with the caveat of having to go through qualifiers.

During the 2015/16 season, Spain became the first association to have five teams in the Champions League group stage after Sevilla lifted the Europa League despite finishing outside the top four in LaLiga the previous campaign and Valencia came through the play-off round.

The Premier League has confirmed that in five of the last six seasons and seven of the past 11, the performance of English clubs in Europe would have merited an additional spot.

Remarkably, there is an extremely unlikely chance of there being as many as seven Premier League clubs in the Champions League next season based on the change in rules.

That would require both the Champions League and Europa League winners to be from the Premier League and both teams finishing outside the top five.

How does the new Champions League format work?

Taking the total number of teams from 32 to 36 in the Champions League, the biggest change will see a transformation from the traditional group stage to a single league phase including all participating teams.

Every club will now be guaranteed a minimum of eight league stage games against eight different opponents (four home games, four away) rather than the previous six matches against three teams, played on a home-and-away basis.

The top eight sides in the league will qualify automatically for the knockout stage, while the teams finishing in ninth to 24th place will compete in a two-legged play-off to secure their path to the last 16 of the competition.

How could this impact the domestic leagues?

Given that the Champions League will almost double in size — from a total of 125 games to 225 — at least four additional matchdays will be required to fit in the extra games.


This will inevitably cause issues for domestic leagues, with fewer dates to fit in all their games.

At the time of the new model’s announcement back in April 2021, then Manchester City midfielder IlkayGundogan said: “More and more games, is no one thinking about us players? The new UCL format is just the lesser of the two evils in comparison to the Super League.”

How does this affect the other UEFA competitions?

Qualification for the two other UEFA competitions, the Europa League and Europa Conference League, will follow the same protocols as in previous years, albeit if the fifth spot qualifies for the Champions League, the Europa League spot will go to the team finishing sixth.

Similar format changes will also be applied to the Europa League (eight matches in the league stage) and Europa Conference League (six matches in the league stage) and both will also include 36 teams in the league phase.

If England receive five CL places, does the ECL spot go down to eighth?

Yes it does — provided the domestic cups are won by those finishing inside the top seven as seen last season with Manchester United winning the Carabao Cup and Manchester City winning the FA Cup.

Based on last season, eighth-placed Tottenham would have qualified for the Europa Conference League and Aston Villa would have been promoted to the Europa League. — Skysports.


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