Newcastle fans will cheering on Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final today, which begins in a few hours time.
Alan Pardew – European qualification will take Newcastle forward
That’s because a Liverpool win in that game will almost certainly mean that Newcastle will be in the Europa League for next season.
With Liverpool having already already qualified for the Europa League by winning the Carling Cup, Liverpool being in the final will mean that 6th position in the league will qualify as a Europa League qualifying position.
That’s because the other side in the FA Cup final – either Chelsea or Tottenham – will have most likely qualified for Europe by finishing in the top five in the league.
This is the scenario if Newcastle finish in 6th place, and of course as we know there’s still a chance that Newcastle can finish even higher than that, and 5th place is qualification for the Europa League, and 4th place is qualification for the Champions League.
At the moment Newcastle are a full 12 points clear of Everton, who are in 7th place in the league, with only 15 points to play for.
This is what Alan Pardew has said about the situation previously:
“It would suit our European hopes if Liverpool won,” “Everton could get through to the final and I think the rule needs to be looked at because if we finish higher than them in the Premier League.”
“That has to be better than the runners-up in the FA Cup qualifying for the Europa League.” “If Everton win the FA Cup, I’d say, ‘Fair enough’.”
“There would be one side of me quite pleased if we don’t qualify for Europe, because it will mean we can attack next season without having the extra pressure of the Europa League.”
“Having said that though, the other side of me would welcome it because it would take the club forward, bond some of the players to the club, and it would be an achievement of sorts.”
“We could also perhaps add to the squad with the extra finance we’d get.”
What Alan is referring to there is the FA rule that says if the FA Cup winners have already qualified for the Champions League then the FA Cup runners-up get into the Europa league – here is that specific proviso:
“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”
And as we pointed out previously, it’s possible for a side relegated from the Premier League to represent England in the Europa League, as Birmingham did this season after winning the Carling Cup last season.
Only France and England give Europa League positions to their Cup winners, with all other countries basing it on where teams finish in the league table, which seems a better measure of how good a side is.
If Everton win today, it’s still possible for Newcastle to qualify for Europe – by finishing 5th in the league table, which is the position we currently hold – 2 points above Chelsea.
We may or may not qualify for Europe today – but the lads still have to try to get as many points as possible in our last five games of the season.
After all, Champions League qualification is only one point away from us right now, because one more point puts us in 4th place above Tottenham.
So we’ll be cheering on Liverpool shortly – as a way of cheering on Newcastle.
Howay The Lads!!