At last we can sleep a bit easier in our beds as the nightmare scenario of sunderland stealing NUFC’s potential European spot has now been removed, thanks to them kindly putting on such a pathetic performance last night against Everton in the FA Cup.
In the absence of a total collapse I guess now we basically need Everton not to get to the FA Cup final, which leaves us relying on…Liverpool. How ironic!
Much simpler would be for us to just decide our own destiny and finish fifth or higher, simple as that Alan and the boys.
Here’s a reminder of how the whole qualification thing works….
As you will know, Newcastle United are currently in sixth and can still technically finish 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th, or even 1st or 2nd if you want to be a real anorak!
Anyway, finishing in the top five would guarantee European football next season while even sixth or seventh could see United also qualify, this is how it all breaks down….
UEFA has allocated three Europa League places to England next season: One for the Premier League, one which has gone to Carling Cup winners Liverpool and one to the FA Cup winners.
Finishing fourth place would earn a two-legged playoff place for a spot in the Champions League group stages (21st Aug/28th Aug). However, If Chelsea won the Champions League and finished in fifth or lower, the fourth-placed team would go into the Europa League.
A fifth place finish would earn a two-legged playoff place for the Europa League (Fixtures 23rd Aug/30th Aug).
A sixth place finish could also earn a two-legged playoff place for the Europa League (Fixtures 23rd/30th Aug) if the FA Cup Final was contested by two teams who had both already qualified for Europe via a different route such as Premier League, or Carling Cup, or Champions League.
However, a sixth place finish could see us beaten to a Europa League spot by the losing FA Cup finalist, regardless of where that team finishes in the PL.
A seventh place finish could also earn a place in the two legged Third Qualifying Round of the Europa League (Fixtures 2nd Aug/9th Aug), due to Liverpool’s Carling Cup Final win which already gives them a place in that tournament.
That would need Liverpool to finish sixth and the FA Cup Final to be contested by two teams who had both already qualified for Europe via a different route such as the Premier League or Champions League.