European qualification for UEFA competitions explained

Man Utd win UEFA Europa League

A breakdown of how PL clubs can qualify for UEFA Champions League and Europa League next season

Below is a breakdown of how Premier League clubs can qualify to play in UEFA competitions in 2017/18.

The maximum numbers of English teams in UEFA competitions is seven.

(Please note UEFA reserves the right to change the conditions of the access list so these criteria can be subject to change.)

UEFA Champions League (UCL) qualification

In normal circumstances, four UCL places are given to English clubs who fulfil the following criteria:

  • The top three teams in the Premier League qualify for the group stage proper.
  • The fourth-placed team in the Premier League qualify for the play-off round.
The UEFA Champions League trophy
The UEFA Champions League trophy

UEFA Europa League (UEL) qualification

In normal circumstances, 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 third qualifying round. 

Where these qualifications changes

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 third qualifying round place will go to the next-highest ranked team not qualified for UEFA competitions in the Premier League.

UEFA Europa League, Man Utd win
Man Utd's UEFA Europa League triumph means they will qualify for the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League group stages

Man Utd and the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League

As Manchester United are winners of the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League, they qualify for the group stages of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League.