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Manchester United, Tottenham, Chelsea Or Arsenal Could Miss Out On Champions League Football Even If They Finish Fourth In The Premier League

Fourth might not be enough this year...
Fourth might not be enough this year...

Top four. We’re aiming for the top four. Top four is a must this season. You hear this non-stop from managers, players and chairmen of the top clubs in England for the duration of the Premier League season. For good reason too.

The financial security that Champions League football brings is far more rewarding than winning both the League Cup and FA Cup combined and the deeper you go into the elite competition, the bigger the rewards. Real Madrid scooped $102 million according to Forbes, for winning the competition last year and given they have won it for the past three seasons, you can see why they are able to splash out on big players.

Finishing fourth in the Premier League guarantees you a place in this incredible competition and Arsene Wenger was onto something when he claimed it was a trophy in itself. However, this season, due to the English club’s unbelievable performance in Europe, that may not be the case.

With, Manchester United, Man City, Liverpool and Tottenham all in the last eight of the Champions League, something the Premier League has not been able to boast in a decade, the Premier League is looking like Europe’s top division once more. Added to that, Chelsea and Arsenal have both progressed in the Europa League and are looking strong which means potentially both the winner of the Champions League and the Europa League this season could both come from the Premier League.

So what happens if that scenario does materialise? Say the Premier League table stays as it is. Chelsea win the Europa League and finish sixth in the Premier League whilst Manchester United finish 5th in the league but win the Champions League?

Would England boast six teams in the Champions League for 2019/20? Well, due to UEFA's rule change in 2013, and in the official regulations for this season, one nation may only have a maximum of five teams competing in a singular European competition over the course of a season. This means, even though six teams will have legitimately qualified for the Champions League, one of them would be relegated to the Europa League.

That would be the team that finishes fourth in the Premier League. In the scenario we have laid out above, presuming Tottenham finish third, Arsenal would be the team to miss out on that Champions League place. This is because the Champions League winners and the Europa League winners take precedence over the domestic leagues and are automatically installed into the Champions League for the following season.

This leaves room for the top three teams in the Premier League to also take their places, whilst fourth will agonisingly miss out. In this case Mr Wenger, fourth place certainly does not equal a trophy.

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