Premier League clubs are in danger of missing out on a Champions League spot next season – with Man United and Newcastle to blame after dismal results let Spain, Italy and Germany in above England in Europe's rankings
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Premier League clubs are in danger of missing out on a Champions League spot next season – with Man United and Newcastle to blame after dismal results let Spain, Italy and Germany in above England in Europe's rankings

Nov 14, 2023

Manchester United and Newcastle’s poor Champions League campaigns could cost the Premier League an extra spot in the competition for next season.

Reforms are being made that will see a new format and four more teams in the group stage from 2024-25, with two of these extra places going to the two best-performing leagues in Europe this season, via club coefficients.

The club coefficient is calculated across all teams from that nation who compete on the continent, including in the Europa League and Europa Conference League

It was widely expected one of these extra places would be guaranteed for an English club given the Premier League has finished in the top two performing leagues in six of the past seven seasons.

However, with Newcastle and United both bottom of their groups and facing an exit, English teams are currently languishing behind those in Germany, Italy and Spain in the race for these two extra spots.

Manchester United and Newcastle's poor Champions League campaigns could cost the Premier League an extra spot in the competition for next season

Manchester United and Newcastle’s poor Champions League campaigns could cost the Premier League an extra spot in the competition for next season

Two of the extra four places will be awarded to the top two performing European leagues based on club coefficients and English teams rank behind those in Germany, Italy and Spain

Two of the extra four places will be awarded to the top two performing European leagues based on club coefficients and English teams rank behind those in Germany, Italy and Spain

In terms of the coefficients, for the Champions League, points are awarded for wins and draws in the group stage, along with a bonus for qualifying for the knockout stages, with further rewards for each round clubs get to.

In the Europa League, the points structure is the same, but you receive just two points if you are runners-up, whereas it would be four if you came second in a Champions League group.

The Europa Conference League sees points are halved for winning the group and coming second, while the bonus point for navigating the knockout rounds only kicks in at the semi-final stage.

To work out each country’s coefficient, the cumulative points of all their teams are added together and divided by the number of sides.

For the Premier League, they currently have eight teams in Europe – Arsenal, Man City, Man United, Newcastle, Brighton, Liverpool, West Ham and Aston Villa.

Man City lead the way having already secured qualification on top of four wins out of four, while each team receives a four point bonus for reaching the group stages, meaning they have secured 17 coefficient points.

But with Newcastle and Man United having both won just once – equating to seven and six points respectively given the Magpies’ draw with AC Milan – English teams’ total coefficient points are currently 59, which divided by the eight sides competing gives an overall score of 7.375.

On the contrary, with Borussia Dortmund topping their group, and Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig already having qualified, Germany lead the major leagues with an coefficient score of 8.785.

In fact, along with Real Madrid and City, Bayern Munich have the highest individual club score currently with 17.

Serie A‘s Inter Milan are through, while Napoli are well-placed for qualification, and Lazio and AC Milan still have a strong chance of joining them, meaning Italy’s coefficient is second with 8.285.

Meanwhile, despite Sevilla’s struggles in the Champions League, Real Madrid and Real Sociedad have already qualified, while Barcelona and Atletico Madrid should also achieve that feat, meaning Spain’s coefficient is clear of England too with 8.187.

With United and Newcastle bottom of their groups, England's club coefficient rating is 7.375

With United and Newcastle bottom of their groups, England’s club coefficient rating is 7.375

Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig have qualified, with Germany's club coefficient rating at 8.785

Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig have qualified, with Germany’s club coefficient rating at 8.785

It is interesting to note that thanks to Fenerbahce’s 100 per cent to their Europa Conference League campaign, along with Galatasaray’s dramatic win over Man United last month, Turkey are currently top of the coefficient standings, while Belgium are also ahead of their English counterparts.

Things could still turn however, with Arsenal likely to secure their qualification during the next round of fixtures, while Liverpool will qualify for the Europa League knockout stages with a victory against Toulouse tonight.

However, if England are to take that additional Champions League spot, they need Newcastle and United to avoid finishing rock bottom, and ideally require them to both qualify for the knockout stages or go far in the Europa League if they do drop down. 

Otherwise, their participation in next season’s elite European club competition will likely be restricted to just four sides.  

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