Chelsea and Liverpool could miss out on Europe next season. What does that mean?




By Tony Attwood

Arsenal as we know, missed out on Europe in 2021/22 having come eighth the season before and having failed to retain the FA Cup or win the League Cup (both of which can provide routes into European competitions).

But now they have bounced back and look fairly certain to get a Champions League spot next season – although of course this is not guaranteed.

However, as things stand Chelsea and Liverpool could both miss out on Europe for next season and their only routes to Europe would be the League Cup or FA Cup each of which could provide a route into the much-derided Europa Conference.   Except I think they have been knocked out of both cups.  So no Europe for either next season – but is that good or bad? 

So we began to wonder if this was something that had happened regularly in the Premier League, for the big six clubs to miss out on Europe, and if so what happens as a result.

Manchester City last missed out in 2009/10 having come 10th the season before.  In their season without Europe, they climbed back to 5th.

Tottenham Hotspur also missed out in 2009/10 having come 8th in the season before.  They also improved with a lack of Europe and rose up to 4th.

Manchester United missed out on Europe in 2014/15 after coming 7th in the league the year before. As with the clubs above, they rebounded and came in fourth in their season with no Europe.

Chelsea missed out in 2016/17 having come 10th in the league the previous season.  However in that season without European football, they did more than bounce back, they won the league.

Liverpool last missed out in 2016/17 having come eighth the season before.  They didn’t do as well as Chelsea, but they did climb back to fourth.

As for Arsenal, having become the English team with the longest-ever run in European competitions, and second in the whole of Europe only to Real Madrid, Arsenal finally missed out in 2021/22 having come eighth the season before.  (Arsenal did of course come 8th the season before that, but secured a European spot by winning the FA Cup).   As you will recall Arsenal did come 5th in their year without Europe, and so re-entered the competitions this season with a place in the Europa League.

Thus we can see that in each case, having a season with no European matches, has provided each club with the chance to rebuild – which they have taken.   None of the traditional big six clubs have needed more than one year out to get back into Europe.  Indeed each of the big six clubs have used their one season out of Europe to rebuild and have then re-entered the fray.

Now that is quite an interesting thought it seems to me, because it does suggest that if Newcastle United do become a regular member of the elite group of clubs that regularly participate in Europe, that is going to put more pressure on the top clubs which would expect European money to be part of the annual income.

A maximum of five Premier League teams are eligible for UEFA Champions League qualification), which makes space for the top four in the League to qualify if the team that wins the Champions League or the Europa League plays in the Premier League but doesn’t end up in the top four (which doesn’t happen often).

So leaving aside the winning of the Champions League or the Europa League for the moment, the situation is that the top four go into the Champions League, the fifth team and the FA Cup winners go into the Europa League and the League Cup winners go into the Conference.

What all this could mean is that if Newcastle United do reach the potential that the money being put into the club suggests is likely, there will be seven clubs vying for five positions in Europe that are awarded according to league position and one for each of the winners of the FA Cup and League Cup.

Now the problem is that the biggest clubs can’t afford to be out of Europe for more than one season at most, and the reality is that entering the Conference isn’t going to be that attractive for the top clubs.  Tottenham we may recall dropped out of the Conference for failing to complete their Conference matches, and immediately threatened legal action, but never quite got round to taking it.  They didn’t really fancy the Conference anyway.

So in essence we have seven big clubs vying for the top five league places and the two cup winners’ spots to get into Europe.  

Arsenal play Sporting Lisbon in the round of 16 in the Europa League.

11 Replies to “Chelsea and Liverpool could miss out on Europe next season. What does that mean?”

  1. I know the article is based around the media idea of a big 6 or 7 now we are supposed to include Newcastle however I must question that. I am sure we all know that Tottenham are not a big club. Chelsea in 10th nearer to the drop than the top 4 clearly getting value for money from all that spending.

  2. Sorry off topic , watched the Sp##s v Chelsea game , how was Kane’s goal allowed Dier was holding down and climbing all over the Chelsea player , where was VAR !!! Opps sorry it wasn’t Arsenal so it’s allowed

  3. Steve Vallins

    I said exactly the same. No VAR intervention, and tellingly of course as it’s Spurs, not a single word from the commentators.

    Also Romero allowed to kick his way around the field unchecked as usual.

  4. @ Nitram
    I’ve played at a good level and I started watching after being taken to Highbury from the late 1950’s and I don’t understand anymore , because as you say too many decisions are subjective .
    Getting back to Sp##s v Chelsea , if Dier doesn’t hold down and climb over the defender the ball doesn’t get to Kane , what are VAR looking at ?

  5. Yep, to me it as clear a foul as you are likely to see.

    Not given by the ref. Not given by VAR. Not questioned by the commentators.

    Honestly, I just don’t get it.

  6. Looking at the table, interesting to see that

    1) the Arsenal defense that is so bad, so piss-poor, so incapable is still better then the City defense and second best in the league
    2) the Arsenal offense which does not have Haaland, still manages to be the second best in the league

    in the end we re top of the league.

  7. Chris

    There’s a few other interesting stats on, amongst them being:

    It was our 10th success on the road in the Premier League this season, the fastest we have reached 10 away victories in any league campaign in our history (13 matches).

    Aaron Ramsdale also kept his eighth clean sheet in a Premier League away game this season, the most by any keeper for us since Jens Lehmann also kept eight in the unbeaten 2003/04 season.

    -Hopefully he’ll go on to beat that?

    It was a quiet afternoon for our keeper though, he didn’t have a single save to make, as we restricted the Foxes to just one shot all afternoon – their fewest in a game since Opta stats began in 2003/04.

    I believe the ‘expected goals’ of 0.02 was also the lowest since OPTA started those.

    -That is a remarkable performance against a team that was apparently finding some form having scored 4 against Spurs just recently.

    This team is excelling in so many areas. The media might even notice, if only they could get over their obsession with all things Manchester United for two minutes.

  8. @Seismic,

    it is fascinating to see we scored 52 goals…. and no player like Haaland…. no single scorer
    Maybe we are seeing the advent of a communist style Arsenal team… ;=)

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