Extra Champions League place: Premier League hopes of fifth spot ended

2 May 2024
Mohamed Salah, Liverpool

An explanation of how one extra Premier League club could have qualified for the 2024/25 UEFA Champions League campaign

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European qualification explained & qualified clubs for UEFA competitions
What's at stake in final weeks of 2023/24 Premier League season?

Two leagues in Europe this season will be rewarded with an extra place in the revamped 2024/25 UEFA Champions League (UCL) based on the record of their clubs in all of UEFA’s competitions this campaign. 

That means in the case of the Premier League, as well as the top four-placed teams, the club finishing fifth could have gone straight into the UEFA Champions League.

But the Premier League will not receive an extra Champions League place.

After Arsenal and Manchester City were knocked out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich and Real Madrid respectively, the Premier League fell into third place, behind Serie A and the Bundesliga, who now cannot be caught.

That puts extra pressure on the race to finish fourth, led currently by Aston Villa, who have also reached the last four of the UEFA Europa Conference League.

Race for Europe

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
1 Manchester City MCI 38 +62 91
2 Arsenal ARS 38 +62 89
3 Liverpool LIV 38 +45 82
4 Aston Villa AVL 38 +15 68
5 Tottenham Hotspur TOT 38 +13 66
6 Chelsea CHE 38 +14 63
7 Newcastle United NEW 38 +23 60
8 Manchester United MUN 38 -1 60
9 West Ham United WHU 38 -14 52
10 Crystal Palace CRY 38 -1 49
Full table
How does it work?

UEFA calculates which two leagues will be rewarded by adding up coefficient points based on the performances of clubs from each league across the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League - the association club coefficient.

Every win, no matter the competition, earns each league two points, while a draw gets one point, and there are no points for defeat.

The further that teams progress in their competitions, additional bonus points are awarded, which are weighted according to the competition.

Champions League bonus points 
Group stage - four 
Round of 16 - five 
Quarter-final, semi-final, final - one 

Europa League bonus points 
Group winners - four 
Group runners-up - two 
Round of 16, quarter-final, semi-final, final - one 

Europa Conference League bonus points 
Group winners - two 
Group runners-up - one 
Semi-final, final - one 

The points of all participating clubs are totalled and then divided by the number of clubs who started the season in UEFA competitions, to calculate the association club coefficient average. 

With the UEFA competitions now in the semi-finals, here is the coefficients rank as of 09:00 BST on 2 May.

UEFA coefficient rankings* (teams remaining)
1. Italy, 19.428 (SF 3)
2. Germany, 18.357 (SF 3)
3. England, 17.375 (SF 1)
4. France, 16.083 (SF 2)
*Source: UEFA

What is the current state of play? 

Italy were already guaranteed a top-two place at the start of this week, and after Borussia Dortmund beat Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 on Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final, Germany secured the other spot for next season.

Read: UEFA qualification explained

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