The English Premier League gets four teams that qualify for the European Champions League and three teams that qualify for the Europa League.
Europa League Badge
The Champions league positions are the top four places in the league, but the Europa places are not all determined by league positions, although they are in all other countries expect England and France.
The Carling Cup winner and the FA Cup winner get entry to the Europa League from England and 5th place in the Premier League also gets a berth.
But three more overall berths are awarded each year by UEFA to those countries that finish in the top three places of the UEFA Fair Play table.
Teams are judged on the following criteria and are awarded points in the following categories:
- Yellow and red cards
- Positive play – attacking tactics, acceleration of the game, efforts to gain time, and continued pursuit of goals
- Respect to the opponent – like returning the ball to the opponent at a throw-in, helping an injured opponent (whoops)
- Respect to the referee (whoops)
- Behavior of the team officials (whoops)
- Behavior of the fans (whoops)
Only the first one is really objective, and the rest are completely subjective, and we’re not sure why it’s not all based on yellow and red cards, and then nobody can argue about it.
Remember that every time a referee in the Premier League gives out a card, red or yellow, it lessens the chances of an additional England team qualifying for the Europa League that season.
England did qualify last year, and the way the additional place is awarded in England is that it goes to the highest placed team in the league that hasn’t yet qualified for Europe – and Fulham got that place last year in 8th place and on 49 points.
It’s interesting Newcastle have 4 points more than that total this season, with 7 games still remaining.
England have qualified through the Fair Play rules 7 times since it started back in 1995 – that’s 17 times it has already been awarded.
But the bad news for Newcastle is that the current standings have Norway at the top, with Finland and the Netherlands in second and third places, with England currently in 9th place and way off the pace.
Pity that referees in the Premier League cannot stop giving out any more cards this season….
Norway have qualified 10 times since 1995 by the Fair Play table, and notice it has nothing to do with how good the league is in that country.
So we’ll just have to hope that Liverpool beat Everton in the semi-final the weekend after next, and 6th place will get us a Europa League spot, and after all we’ve been wanting Liverpool to do well all season - haven’t we?
But it’s not all lost even if Everton win the FA Cup – we’ll just have to finish in 5th place above Chelsea, and 7 wins in a row should do that!
And if we don’t make it this season, just remember it could have been a lot worse – Sunderland could have won the FA Cup – so thank goodness for small mercies, because that would have been unbearable.