UCL qualification to be decided on sporting merit

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  • Post published:April 23, 2020

Uefa has decided that next season’s Champions League places will be decided on ‘sporting merit’ if the current season cannot be completed, according to reports.

This will be based on a points-per-game ratio, which means the Premier League’s places will go to Liverpool, Manchester City, Leicester City and Chelsea, according to the Times.

Uefa’s decision would have the likes of Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers take the Europa League places, with north-London duo Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur missing out altogether.

As it stands, Arsenal and Spurs sit eighth and ninth, respectively, in the league standings, but they would be flipped around on a points-per-game measure, with Arsenal having played one less game.

That means the Gunners, according to Uefa’s potential plan, would leapfrog Spurs and finish above them for the first time in four years.

Above them, meanwhile, the decision would be excellent news for Sheffield United amid their stunning first season back in the top flight.

They are below Wolves in the current Premier League standings, but having played a game less their points-per-game tally is slightly better, meaning they would move up to sixth and therefore secure a place in next season’s Europa League.

Other than that, the Premier League table would remain the same, with Bournemouth, Norwich and Aston Villa still occupying the relegation places.

Uefa’s plan would not just impact the Premier League, but also the other top European divisions.

In the Bundesliga, where a decision on the outcome of the season is expected today, all of the teams in the top half of the division have played the same number of games, meaning the standings would remain the same.

Therefore, if the season is unable to be completed in Germany, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach would take the country’s top four spots and a place in next season’s Champions League.

Thursday’s meeting of Uefa’s executive committee was led by president Alexander Ceferin and held via videoconference from 9am.

Plenty of big decisions had previously been made by the committee, such as the postponement of Euro 2020, so it was always expected that more tough calls would be made this week.

The first strand of business was already decided during a preliminary meeting on Tuesday, which included the general secretaries of Uefa’s 55 member states.