Will fifth place in the Premier League get a Champions League spot after Man City’s ban?

Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham could benefit from Man City’s punishment (Picture: Getty Images)

Manchester City are set to miss out on the Champions League for the next two seasons after breach of Uefa Financial Fair Play rules has seen them hit with a two-year ban.

This has raised the question of which Premier League sides will be getting a spot in the elite European competition next season?

Will the Premier League just have three teams involved or, if City finish in the top four of the top flight, will the fifth placed team get a spot in the Champions League?

It seems that the latter possibility is the most likely, if City do end up in the top four of the Premier League, then the team that finishes fifth will be playing in the Champions League next season.

While UEFA and the Premier League have not confirmed what will happen regarding England’s qualification spots, the rules suggest it will go to the team in fifth.

Article 4.08 of UEFA’s admission criteria for European club competitions reads: ‘A club which is not admitted to the competition is replaced by the next best-placed club in the top domestic championship of the same association, provided the new club fulfils the admission criteria.’

That is very exciting news for the likes of Tottenham, Sheffield United, Wolves, Manchester United and Everton all of which have a realistic chance of grabbing fourth spot.

It may be that fifth place is less of an issue, because Manchester City could drop right down the division if they are hit with a points deduction.

The Independent reports that it is ‘highly likely’ the champions will be docked points by the Premier League, which could see them finish outside the top four and then the normal Champions League spots would remain.

How severe the points deduction would be, and when it would come into play, is not clear yet, though.

City plan to appeal the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and hope to avoid any Champions League ban or points deduction.

A statement read: ‘The club has always anticipated the ultimate need to seek out an independent body and process to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence in support of its position.

‘In December 2018, the Uefa chief investigator publicly previewed the outcome and sanction he intended to be delivered to Manchester City, before any investigation had even begun.

‘The subsequent flawed and consistently leaked Uefa process he oversaw has meant that there was little doubt in the result that he would deliver.

‘The club has formally complained to the Uefa disciplinary body, a complaint which was validated by a CAS ruling.

‘Simply put, this is a case initiated by Uefa, prosecuted by Uefa and judged by Uefa.

‘With this prejudicial process now over, the club will pursue an impartial judgment as quickly as possible and will therefore, in the first instance, commence proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity.’

The Premier League champions were hit with the two-year ban and a €30m (£25m) fine for deliberately misleading UEFA over the value of a sponsorship deal in order to meet FFP rules which require clubs to break even.

The club’s owner, Sheikh Mansour, has been accused of mostly funded the Etihad sponsorship of the shirts, stadium and academy, worth £67.5m-a-year.

This comes after a previous breach of regulations in 2014.

MORE: Manchester City also facing Premier League points deduction after Champions League ban

MORE: Manchester City banned from Champions League for next two seasons over FFP

No comments