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England’s European Qualification Rules So Complicated

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.

Comments welcome.

8 comments so far

  • Wor Shearer

    Apr 21, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    Comment #1

    It’s been 12 agonising days since I was last able to see my beloved Newcastle. As usual, I can’t wait for the game, I expect the lads to explode out the blocks and to assert their authority as early as possible. DON’T GIVE THEM A CHANCE!

  • sirtoongospel

    Apr 21, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    Comment #2

    I am going for a 14-0 win for the boys today, HBA to score 8 of them, 6 of which will start in our half, leading to ED running a poll tonight……”Which HBA goal was the best in the match?” and when that is resolved he can run a “Which HBA goal is goal of the season so far?” poll!

    It’s only a matter of time before he starts in our box and beats every member of the opposing team before scoring!

  • steve

    Apr 21, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    Comment #3

    Is Krul definitely out today lads. Read Elliot was in goal on the last thread ?

  • Graeme

    Apr 21, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    Comment #4

    We are, to all intents, qualified for Europe, barring some disasterous collaps of form by us, coupled with an unbeaten run by teams just below us.

    The ONLY issue at the moment, is which cup are we going for?? We effectifly have Europa League qualification sewn up – Champs League but be just one amazing bonus that is utterly unexpected – what a fabulous problem to have to deal with.

    My passport is being renewed next month cos its full, so I’ll be well prepared for Europe lol Bring it on!!!

  • sirtoongospel

    Apr 21, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #5

    Pardew seemed to think that Krul was going to be ok in his interview? Thought it would clear up ok as it was a slight spasm?

    Hope he is fit, Krul tries to come and claim things and we need that against Stoke.

    All in all though, I just hope we can get the 3 points today, and whatever happens in the early game there is an incentive for us. Either Arsenal are dragged right back into it with a draw or a loss, or Chelsea lose and we have the chance to put a small amount of daylight between us. If we win though then Spurs will feel the pressure for sure.

  • beddersmag

    Apr 21, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #6

    Not sure Ed is right here. My understanding is that the team who has the highest league position of the europa qualifiers is the one who avoids the play off- not the fa cup winners. Can see us winning a close game today as pressure has to start getting to us sometime and dont expect it to be easy

  • Beattie25

    Apr 21, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #7

    By the way we had a lot of pro-simpson for breakfast so I think I’ll provide a sprinkling of reality to accompany it.

    You could take the stats and make any player look amazing. Stats are for the bidding and they hold no truth to the eye of the beholder that watches players week in and out.

    I bet Mike Williamson’s stats would show him as an amazing player who has helped nufc collect an almighty amount of clean sheets. Fact is his isn’t that good.

    Don’t get me wrong him and simmo are decent enough but they would struggle to walk in any of the top 10 teams in the PL.

    Back to Simmo he is solid, reliable and does a good job but he hasn’t got the quality and never has shown enough ability to warrant a big contrat on Tyneside. He is a good player but brings an imbalance to the team due to his poor spacial awareness and inability to move forward. In a team of players able to pass the ball and feel comfortable under pressure he is an oddity.

    I do not dislike the lad but he is a squad player only that will push the fringes of the first team. For all you lovers of Simpson let me say that the stats can be manipulated all they need to be but in 3 years of watching the man I have not seen one man of the match performance or any reason we should go all out to retain him. I share that view with many toon fans and not some opta statistician sat in a darkened room somewhere in the south of England.


    Apr 21, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #8

    If Krul is injured! I would prefer us to play Elliot!

    We need Krul fit for the rest of the Run-in!

    Not sure if this lad Elliot is good enough to replace him!
    But think if Pardew trusts him then okay!


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