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Wednesday 27 February 2013

European competition qualification

How Barclays Premier League clubs can secure a place in European competition

Man City qualified for the UEFA Champions League by winning the Barclays Premier League

Every season, the 20 Barclays Premier League clubs compete against each other in a bid to win the title.

But as well as vying for domestic success, they are also battling to win places in the two major European competitions, the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League.

We outline the ways in which clubs competing in the Barclays Premier League can qualify for these two competitions.

UEFA Champions League

The teams that finish in the top four places in the Barclays Premier League qualify for the UEFA Champions League.

The top three qualify automatically for the Group Stage, and the fourth-placed team must play a Qualification Play-Off.

"No extra domestic place can be gained by a team winning the UEFA Champions League"

English winners of the UEFA Champions League who finish outside the top four places go through as Winners to the Group Stage along with the domestic champions, runners-up and third-placed team.

No extra domestic place can be gained by winning the UEFA Champions League, so the team finishing fourth drops into the UEFA Europa League. Then, the national association of the title-holder is entitled to one additional place in the UEFA Europa League.

UEFA Europa League

There are three places available in the UEFA Europa League:

  • The FA Cup winners will enter at the Group Stage
  • The fifth-placed team in the Barclays Premier League will enter at the Play-Off stage
  • The Capital One Cup winners will enter at the Q3 stage

In the event The FA Cup winners also qualify for the UEFA Champions League, The FA Cup runner-up will qualify for the UEFA Europa League, but in the place reserved for the lowest ranking Barclays Premier League representative.

The place with direct access to the Group Stage will be given to the club that finishes in the highest position in the Barclays Premier League of the clubs qualifying for the UEFA Europa League.

If an English team wins the UEFA Europa League they will enter the next season's competition at the Group Stage, gaining an extra domestic place only if they fail to qualify through other means for either of the two European competitions.

If the holders of the UEFA Europa League have already qualified for Europe, no extra domestic place will be gained.

If The FA Cup winners, runners-up (if applicable) and the Capital One Cup winners have already qualified for Europe, their place goes to the next best placed clubs in the Barclays Premier League.

Fair Play

The winners of the fair play league enter at the Q1 stage.

This place will automatically go to the three best-placed national associations in the UEFA Respect fair play rankings provided they achieve an average of 8.0 points or more.

The top three associations will then be entitled to enter the club that has either won their domestic top-division fair play competition, or if they have already qualified, the runners-up and so forth.

Please note: The above is purely a guide to the qualification procedue at present. From time to time other scenarios may occur which could mean that the above procedures may need to be reviewed.

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Key Points

  • UEFA Champions League & UEFA Europa League places available
  • Barclays Premier League clubs can all qualify
  • Teams can reach Europe through League or cups