How Arsenal could finish fourth and not qualify for the Champions League

Updated: April 25, 2016

Since winning their first Premier League title under Arsene Wenger back in the 1997-98 season, Arsenal has never fallen outside of the top four and has always qualified for a spot in the Champions League.


It’s a statistic that not many other clubs around Europe hold and one that has kept Wenger at the club for many years since, despite the lack of trophies. However, they could miss out on Champions League football next season even if they do finish in fourth because of one rule, and that could play a role into his managerial future at the London club.


We know you can only qualify for the Champions League via three ways; league position, winning the Champions League or winning the Europa League.


Arsenal’s way of qualifying for next season’s competition will be through the league, but with Manchester City’s and Liverpool’s inclusion in the Champions League and Europa League respectively, The Gunners’ European qualification isn’t a guarantee if they finish fourth.


Robbie Fowler (Liverpool) lifts the trophy as the Liverpool team celebrate their victory. Liverpool v Deportivo Alaves UEFA Cup Final 2001.Played in Dortmund. 16/5/2001.Credit :Colorsport/Andrew Cowie.

Could Liverpool be repeating their Europa League success of 2001?


There is a rule that only five teams from one nation can qualify for the Champions League in one season. So, if City were to win the Champions League and Liverpool were to win the Europa League and neither finished the season in the top four, the team finishing fourth would go into the Europa League group stage.


Liverpool’s spot in the Champions League could also be affected if City wins the competition and finish in third or above, The Reds would be awarded a group stage entry spot, rather than a playoff round qualification spot. This happened to Sevilla last season as Barcelona won the Champions League and finished in first in La Liga.


A maximum of three additional places in the Europa League could be awarded to teams that finish in the top eight in the Premier League if City and Liverpool win their respective European competitions if Manchester United wins the FA Cup, and all those teams mentioned finish in the top seven.


The Citizens won the Capital One Cup earlier this season which gives them a place in the third qualifying round in the Europa League. If they were to win the Champions League, that spot they earned in the Europa League would be passed on to the next highest finisher in the Premier League that hasn’t already qualified for Europe, likely to be 6th position in the table.



Qualifying round in Europa League at least for City


If Manchester United were to win the FA Cup and finish in a European spot in the league, another Europa League spot would be given to the next highest league finisher that hasn’t already earned a place in Europe, likely to be 7th position in the table.


Finally, if Liverpool were to win the Europa League and finish in seventh or above with all of the above also happening, another Europa League spot would be handed out to the team that finishes 8th in the Premier League.


This could be one of the most rewarding Premier League seasons to date as teams finishing as low as 8th in the Premier League could qualify for Europe, so there is hope for Chelsea yet, despite their poor start to the season.


However, Arsenal’s time in the Champions League might be coming to an end if they don’t finish in the top three and all English teams are successful in Europe. Fourth spot isn’t a guarantee for Champions League football this season, and that could be the last straw for Wenger at The Gunners.


Do you think Arsenal can qualify for the Champions League?

Follow Let’s Talk Sport on:





Audio Boom



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *