Premier League Could Lose Automatic Champions League Spot Following New Proposals

Teams face a gruelling qualifier if they finish in fourth place in the league from 2021
11:50, 09 Oct 2019

As it stands, four teams from England go straight into the group stage but, under proposals being discussed by European leagues, the team finishing fourth will now have to enter via a qualifying round.

The new criteria could come into play in two seasons, affecting sides in the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A.

With serious money at stake, extra matches over two legs will be of concern to the likes of Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United.

As reported by The Telegraph, Lars-Christer Olsson, head of European Leagues, said: “I think some of the big leagues would be fine if they are all treated in the same way," 

"If you are giving four positions to the Premier League and taking one away from the Bundesliga then you have a problem. 

The big leagues are prepared to participate in this discussion for something new if they are treated the same.

The proposals, which are set to be discussed next month, could even see nations lose the extra berth altogether.

Timing of the move has left some scratching their heads as the award of an automatic spot for the team in fourth only came into effect at the start of the last campaign.

While other teams around Europe will be buoyed by the potential switch up. It could spell disaster for the Premier League top six monopoly.

With Manchester United in particular struggling and Arsenal also missing out on Europe’s elite competition, the loss of income and prestige can have a detrimental effect on clubs so often used to playing in the competition on an annual basis.

The potential of losing another spot could make United’s route back to the top that bit more difficult.

While Spurs reached last season’s Champions league final, at a time when Chelsea weren’t even in the competition, past achievements count for more - this season the Blues will receive £27.9m while Tottenham will get £17m, according to Fox Sports.

Sustained success is needed to build up a larger slice of the finances and so four spots are crucial for the Premier League’s big boys.