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August 2021

The team that finishes fourth could be put into the Europa League

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By Tony Attwood

Playing in the Champions League is part of our ability to attract new players.  Players want to play in the top league, and that combined with the money it brings in, means getting in the league is a Big Deal.

But according to a document that has circulated among the committee of Arsenal Independent Supporters Association, of which I am a member, this year things might be a bit different.

We all remember how in the past when Liverpool won the Champs League having come outside the top four the rules were suddenly changed to give them a place in the Champs League as defending champions.  Well it seems various changes were made at that point, and this season they could be important.

Here is the scenario being presented if Chelsea win the Champions League this season…

Chelsea finishes 1st/2nd/3rd:  

Champions League entry as normal

Chelsea finishes 4th: 

Top four all go straight to 2012/13 CL group stage

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Chelsea finishes 5th or lower:  

4th placed club goes to the Europa League

You might want to look at that last one again.  Chelsea 5th, and the 4th team in the Premier League does not go into the Champions League.

If you want to know what that means, look at Liverpool.  Not only have they lost £20 million or so from the league, they now just have to rely on reputation to attract new players.  Don’t try and tell a top European star that you have won the league cup.  For all the noise the British press and the anti-Arsenal make about no trophies for 7 years, winning a domestic cup doesn’t count as much in the negotiations as a place in the Champions League.

As Liverpool have found, if you are not in the Champions League you can’t buy players from clubs who are in the Champions League.

Of course Arsenal’s position is nowhere near as awful as Liverpool, who just this week are looking at making an amazing £14m loss on Alberto Aquilani who is moving permanently to AC Milan.  But the news that 4th position doesn’t automatically mean a Champions League position shows how vital it is that we keep getting behind the team, and keep pushing for third.
Indeed it really is a strange position.  Tottenham coming fourth and Chelsea winning the Champs League would at least give us a laugh at Tottenham’s expense (as well as another St Totteridge Day to celebrate).  Arsenal coming fourth does not figure in my mind at all.
There are two big club fixtures left this season – Man City and Chelsea.  The rest are for the most part against lower clubs – games we should win.  But let us not count chickens.  We need to support the club at every moment, and get ourselves into that 3rd spot.   As long as Chelsea are in the Champs League, 4th is not an option.

43 comments to The team that finishes fourth could be put into the Europa League

  • rusty

    If it’s not too off-topic, while we’re on the subject of Chelsea, I really have to wonder what’s next for AVB. I don’t know that his partial season there really tells us anything about whether his tactical mindset can be successful, rather it just proved that his squad wasn’t suited for a high line and pressing.

  • Arun

    A similar article was published in the daily mail a few days back but seriously do anybody think that they are good enough to beat barca, madrid or bayern ???? They may get past Benfica but winning the title is definitely beyond them.

  • Ben

    This is a pointless discussion…

    Even with lots of luck Chelsea do not stand a chance of winning the Champions league!
    They are not mobile enough to get past Barca in the semis or Bayern/Real in the final.

    The 2 best sides in Champs League this year stand in their way..

  • Mahdain

    i dont know why people are even thinking about this..chelsea ARE NOT winning the 1000% sure about that

  • ak47

    beat qpr and get a point against blue oil and it would be completely ours to lose. id rather not have chelski be the first uk club to win it.

  • bob

    Speaking of AFC and the Champions League, breaking news is that Farca have just lodged an official complaint about the horror-surface at San Siro – the very complaint that Arsene/we made and were slated/mocked for. We lose. They draw. Same furious official complaint. Where was UEFA on this when we shouted? Where will they be when Farca snorts? How much more ineptitude/mendacity can fans and football stand? (Well, apparently it’s infinite, but for those who wish to delve a bit, here: )

  • bob

    p.s. Did Arsene/AFC demand this of the UEFA rep at the match???????
    “[Barcelona] passed the matter over to Uefa delegate Mikalai Varabyov at the post-match meeting,” the Catalan club said in a statement on Thursday.
    “Varabyov has included the complaint in his report and Uefa will demand an explanation from the Italian club.”

  • JSK

    This is simply irrelevant and alarmist nonsense – does anyone apart from the most demented, knuckle- dragging CFC fan actually think that they will get past the likes of Barca, Real Madrid or Bayern? If the AISA committee seriously gives weight to this kind of idiocy then more fool them.

  • Arvind

    @Bob: And it looked better than when we played on it!!!

    At least it was green all around unlike that dreadful brown…with no grass on it.

    Don’t hold you breath though..nothing’ll happen. Or on second thoughts…it may be good if it happens…there’ll be more stuff that will get confirmed about Barcelona.

    Do you remember a time when ManU needed a win to retain the title at Wigan on the last day? And Wigan relaid their pitch ONLY on the last day… just for that one game? Everyone else played on a terrible surface. Subtle. Or maybe not….

  • RedGooner

    Chelsea winning the Champs league wouldnt give me a laugh even if Sp*rs finished 4th ….I want Arsenal to be the first team in london to win it.

    Lets hope chelsea get knocked out by barca in the semis so they play more mid week games and tire.
    Then its win win no matter who finishes 4th…. If chelsea arent in europe they wont attract good players this summer and if spurs arent we can taunt them again.

  • Wooby

    Bob, I am in full agreement with you. What a joke if UEFA slaps Milan with a fine!

    My recollection is Wenger made it known through the press that he was not happy with the condition of the pitch, that UEFA should look into it but did not file a formal complaint. Maybe the difference is he did not want to make things worse in terms of referee assignment at the Emirates while Farca already knows they will get someone favourable to them?

    @AK47, unfortunately, ManUre and ‘Pool have both won CL in the past 10 years so if Chelski does it, they’d be the first from London, not the UK. While I cannot stomach the notion of us not being the first from London to win the CL, I must admit the notion of Spuds finishing 4th, but then not being able to play in CL next season, is a rather delicious thought. 🙂


    I read an article elsewhere that said if Chelsea finish 4th/5th but win the CL then Chelsea will go straight into the groups but the 3rd placed team will have to play the CL qualifier.

  • Rupe

    I thought that entry into the CL by virtue of winning it would mean they had to go into qualifying round rather than straight into group stage..?

  • Arun

    ~~~▄▄██▌█ ░░░░▐ UEFA Delivery Services, Inc.
    ▄▄▄▌▐██▌█ ░▐ Handle with Caution: Tom Ovrebo inside

    <============Stamford Bridge: 1,700 KM

  • Arun

    The above comes to mind thinking about barca and chelsea semifinal.

  • rob

    lets be serious here…..chelsea will never win the CL…the final will be between Barca and B. Munich

  • bob

    Wooby, Right on the mark you are, imo:
    “Maybe the difference is he [Arsene] did not want to make things worse in terms of referee assignment at the Emirates while Farca already knows they will get someone favourable to them?”

  • bob

    Good one! What was the date when that Wigan service paid to Don Fergus? I missed it, alas.

  • bob

    A thing of beauty your visual (though too true to be good, alas 🙂 )

  • nicky

    With the best will in the world I cannot see Chelsea winning the CL……not with Barcelona (and referees) still there. To my mind, Chelsea appear to be on a descending curve of late, with a number of players due for retirement/replacement. Together with Spurs, the two clubs will fight for 4th place.

  • I see no reason why people are talking about Chelsea, and what makes everyone think that chelsea can get passed Real Madrid, Or Favor Barcelona and even Bayern. let say the reality Chelsea have not past against Benfica, and Chelsea wining the champions league is 100% zero. Ac Millan vs Barca, i really say thanks to the pitch because when Arsenal played in that pitch people where criticizing the players, also remember that Barcelona are Uefa favorite club.

  • Stuart

    JSK – What they are saying is, things don’t always go the way they are supposed to in football, in fact they rarely do. ie, Man City are supposed to win this year but looks l=more likely united will do so….

  • correction

    sorry to be pedantic, but it’s St. Totteringhams day…

  • finsbury

    Stop. The. Press.

    Thus spoke Sir Slurgus of Clan Slurgussian:

    “It evens itself out over a season and that will never change,” said Ferguson, whose club have won 19 league titles.

    “You get breaks here and there. Every club gets good breaks, bad breaks.”

  • finsbury

    You know what?

    I never thought they’d be so blatent as to go for the twentieth with such a poor squad like this. I thought it’d be more like the CL? Dodgy clear-pen calls for CFC vs. BBB one season, clear non-pens for BBB vs. Inter the next. That kind of thing.

    Bob, you have my apologies. I thought it’d have been satisfied with last seasons shennanigans. Nineteen was not enough. Let us hope that they keep on over-reaching themselves so brazenly.

  • finsbury

    Arsenal FC have had more then their fair share of bad breaks.
    In fact more then any other team. Anywhere. Tis odd.

  • Adam

    Mr Attwood, I believe Arsene lives in Totterdge.

  • RedGooner

    Off subject
    But speaking of all things Arsenal related.

    Two people I cant stomach Joey Barton and Mark Hughes up next for our lads. I thought I would have a peek at BBC see if the weekly predictions were up for the weekend games BUT all I could find was this.

    Meanwhile, captain Joey Barton believes everyone in the QPR squad is playing for their future as they look to avoid relegation.

    “This is more than a game of football now. The next eight games govern our futures,” he told the official club website.

    “There are livelihoods on the line here. I’m not sure that’s the case at Arsenal to be honest.”

    Oh LORD wouldnt it be GREAT to shove them words back down his throat into the championship were the pair of them belong.

    What I cant understand is the lower premier league clubs constantly hire managers like Fat Sam and Hughes and McCarthy and Pullis etc etc. When I look at the entertainment that Blackpool brought to the premiership last year surely there is more managers like Ollie in the lower leagues who if only had the same resources would do a better job.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Chelsea will win CL this year on the same day pigs start to fly!
    Excuse my French, but no f@@@@@@ way!!!

  • Good one Tony. We can start a St Totteridge’s Day this season. That’s when we top those Scums and them Chavs at the bridge.

  • arsenal confussed

    omfg, is they a point of writing thise article, how can chelsea win the champions leaugue considering the two best teams are still in the competion and lets face it they cant even beat shit teams in the epl, how do you expect them to beat the likes of real madrid, barcalona, munich and ac milian. the only conclusion i come with is that you are bored and you have nothing better to do. and if chelsea where to win the champions league, i would stop watching football sell my tv and just live a very boring life

  • Frank Rizzo

    As was mentioned earlier, I believe if Chelsea were to win UCL, the team that finishes 3rd will have to play a qualifier. There is of course zero chance of this happening. I get the feeling that the ref favours that Barca tend to get have run their course (e.g lots of moaning this season in La Liga about decisions going against Barca and a stonewall penalty not given against Milan) so I reckon Barca will not win the champions league this year. Real could do the double.

  • Frank Rizzo

    Yep, see 2.03 of the champions league regulations.

    The winner is guaranteed a place in the group stages

  • gooner

    Chelsea can’t win the CL

  • ak47

    lol. thanx wooby. i meant london obviously. im not that dense i hope. 🙂

  • Gord


    Sorry, I don’t know the academic background of SAF.

    If ManU gets preferential treatment at home (the home team) and ManU gets preferential treatment when visiting (the away team); it all balances out. The home team got preference as many times the away team.

    Proving anything with statistics is difficult, and semantics needs to be considered.

  • bob

    No worries, mate, cheers! Surely, nineteen doesn’t look as manly as XX on the way to a Coronation. Why, just the other day did Ferdinand sing forth from his master’s hymn book, the very psalm that, happily, you have brought us this day:
    “It evens itself out over a season and that will never change,” said Ferguson, whose club have won 19 league titles.
    “You get breaks here and there. Every club gets good breaks, bad breaks.”
    finsbury, don’t know about you, but I just get so teary-eyed reading it. Aloud. So moving, really. Such insight into the human condition. Surely worthy of a Lord Football to be. For my part, I’ll be practicing it until that blessed day will come when all creation will rise up on its haunches, like ManUrites on that fateful day or yore in Old Toilet, when the blessed multitudes – in full sight of Highway Robbery – gave all Credit where none was due to their lord and master. And, lo, Micky R said it was good. And, so, pleased, the Lord Fergus (though I do like your “Sir Slurgis”! 🙂 ) did his two-step on cloven hoof and did snort forth: “So let it be written, so let it be done.” And lo, his stenographers at the (Manchester) Guardians, Der Sun, and LeGrovel did step to, (sticky fingers at the ready,) as He continues to slouch toward His Destiny, as our national treasure, to be borne. (Pity the nation who needs heroes.) Oh Lord Rupert, deliver us all into Temptation and may all whispers of ‘video replay’ turn to dust upon our lips. (Cue for Septic Bladder to bring out The Trophy.)

  • Asif

    Heck no…why are we even thinking that Chelski will win the champions league…common…its just a hypothetical situation which will remain hypothtetical. Who in their right minds think that Chelski will the CL…they beat who…Benfica? The likes of Real, Barca and Bayern will love to draw the oil-money-fueled-coach-sacking-wealthy-but-poor-Chelski! But I do wish they kick spuds out of the top 4….but winning the CL…naaah! Abrahamovich will not get his wish not with this team and atleast not this year…

  • bob

    With “livelihoods on the line” as OurJoey belches forth, wouldn’t it be SOMETHING SPECIAL if Gervinho finds a way to score and show OJ the way to a very hot climate way south of the relegation line? Agreed OJ, this is more than just a game. If Gervinho and Diaby and Sagna were all on the pitch to mutually celebrate our winning goal at OJ’s expense, oh happy happy day!

  • bob

    Stuart, all.
    You saw Walter’s link to the inner core of Don Fergus’s little helpers, right? Those four horsemen of the Ah-Pucker-Lips (WWFT – Webb, Walton, Foy, Taylor) as the Annointed One gets ready to kiss His Trophy. What an analysis!:

  • Stevie E

    I see Uefa are at it again… Banning AW for daring to speak ill of a ref. Whilst AW is manager of Arsenal, Uefa are going to every underhand thing they can think of to prevent us winning the champions league. Disgraceful.

  • bob

    Fans, UA, blogs, hearts and minds,
    This should be a time to come together. If not now when?
    Hmmmm……? UEFA is illegitimate.

  • bob

    p.s. Arsene banned, that is. Comprendez-vous?