Newcastle announced last week that they had arranged to play with the MLS All Stars at the end of July, but they have now called off that proposed short American tour.
Alan Pardew – Newcastle summer plans held up by European qualification complexities
But until it is more clear exactly where Newcastle finish in the league table, and therefore which European competition they are in for next season, and which qualifying games, if any, the club will need to play in August – plans are being held up for any summer tour.
The news is that Newcastle have agreed in principal to a summer tour somewhere, but exactly where is not being divulged.
If Newcastle finish in 4th place in the league, they will need to play a Champions League qualifier, with the first leg on August 21st or 22nd and the second fixture on August 28th or 29th.
And if they get through that, they will be in the lucrative group stages of the Champions League.
That’s assuming things are not made more complicated by Chelsea winning the Champions League this year, and not finishing in the top four in the Premier League.
In that case Chelsea would qualify for the Champions League and the 4th placed team, if it was Newcastle, would be entered into the Europa League group stages, but no play-off games would be required in August.
If Newcastle finish 5th, they will do directly into the final qualifying round of the Europa League, and that means a play-off game in August.
If Newcastle finish in 6th place, we will qualify for the Europa League, and will need to enter the third qualifying round, which starts much earlier on August 2nd.
The daft thing about English qualification is that the Cup winners go directly into the group stages of the Europa League, according to our reading of the qualification rules, and 5th place is the 3rd ranked team for the Europa League in England.
Newcastle are trying to get some clarification on that, because the FA Cup winners this season – Liverpool or Chelsea will almost certainly have already qualified for Europe.
As you can see above, it’s not at all clear – at least this season - how the three English teams will be ranked for the Europa League.
The Champions League looks much more straight forward – unless Chelsea do a Liverpool of 2005, and win the Champions League but finish outside 4th place in the Premier League.
It’s all very complex to work out at this stage of the season, so the summer plans for Newcastle are being held in abeyance, until things become clearer.