Three places for English clubs in the Europa League? Has the Mail got this right?

By Tony Attwood

There is an article in the Mail today which says that if the League was not finished off, and points per game were assigned as the way of determining who gets into Europe next season, “Manchester United and Sheffield United would take the Europa League places, while Arsenal and Tottenham would miss out on European football entirely if the current season is unable to be completed.”

Yet England does not have two places in the Europa League, as I would have hoped the Mail would know.  It has three

The guidance says, “three UEL places are given to English clubs who fulfil the following criteria:

  • The fifth-placed team in the Premier League qualify for the group stage proper.
  • The winners of the FA Cup qualify for the group stage proper.
  • The EFL Cup winners qualify for the second qualifying round.”

a) If the FA Cup winners finish in the top five of the Premier League, their UEL group stage place will go to the next-highest ranked team not qualified for UEFA competitions in the Premier League.

b) If the EFL Cup winners finish in the top five of the Premier League (or top six if (a) happens), their UEL second qualifying round place will go to the next-highest ranked team not qualified for UEFA competitions in the Premier League.

OK from that we can get rid of the EFL Cup Winners since that was Manchester City who will either qualify because they come second, or will not qualify because they are banned.   So that is one place spare.

Then there is the FA Cup winner.   The point here is that the article discusses what happens if the season is not finished off.  Points per game only comes into effect if the season is incomplete.

But if the League is incomplete, then surely there is no chance of the FA Cup being completed, since the FA Cup Final comes after the last game in the League, and we’ve got a way to go yet before we get there.   Would we really schedule the FA Cup games ahead of League games?

I think not, so quite simply, of the three bullet points above, the first is right – the fifth-placed team quality.  The winners of the FA Cup won’t qualify because in the situation we are discussing if the League is not completed then nor will be the FA Cup.   And the EFL Cup winners are Man City, so they are already dealt with by coming in the top four or being banned from Europe.

Which takes us back to the previous article: if the League is not completed, then on a points per match basis Arsenal will be above Tottenham as the league table showed, so Arsenal qualify and Tottenham do not.

Maybe my brain is not working properly but I really can’t see what the Mail is talking about.

However I am hearing more and more about another solution to the end of the season, and I am just trying to get this confirmed.  More on that as soon as I have it.

Oh yes and they are also saying we are selling our centre forward.  Here’s the quote…

“Arsenal have shelved Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s contract talks as doubts over his future grow. The Gunners have already agreed a 12.5 percent wage cut with the majority of their players, but the financial consequences of the coronavirus crisis will also have a knock-on effect on the club’s contract negotiations. The Gabon striker earns in the region of £200,000 per week and wants a significant upgrade on his current deal to sign an extension.”