How the Premier League missed out on the fifth Champions League spot

Why will there be more Champions League spots next year?

UEFA has decided to change the format of the Champions League from the 2024/25 season. The number of participants will be increased from 32 teams to 26 teams and the traditional group stage will be abolished. There will only be one table for all 36 teams instead of the previous eight groups consisting of four teams.

Each team will play eight games according to a seeding system. The first eight places will qualify directly for the round of 16. The teams in places nine to 24 will play a play-off format to determine the remaining round of 16 participants.

As a result of this rule change, no teams will be relegated to the Europa League.

How will the additional Champions League places be allocated?

Of the four spots available, one will go to one of the European champions, who will have to go through the qualifying process. Another spot will go to the third-placed team in the league, which is currently fifth in the UEFA access list.

Two further spots will be awarded by the collective performance of the European leagues. This involves dividing the club coefficient points of each league by the number of participating clubs. The top two in this calculation are awarded a further spot in the Champions League.

The coefficient points are awarded equally in each European competition. A win earns two points, a draw one point and a defeat no points.

In the Champions League, four extra points are awarded for participation in the group stage, five for reaching the round of 16 and one each for the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.

The Europa League extra points are awarded four to the group winners, two to the group runners-up and one additional point for the round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.

In the Conference League, there are the least extra points. Here there are two for the group winners, one for the group runners-up and one for the semi-final and final.

How did the English teams perform?

Due to the underperformance of the English clubs in the European competitions this year, it is already clear that the Premier League will have no chance of securing the extra Champions League spot. Dortmund’s victory over Paris means that it is no longer possible for the Premier League to overtake the Bundesliga in terms of points. England only has one team left in the Europa Conference League semi-finals, Aston Villa, while the competition from Germany and Italy is still represented by three teams.

Manchester United and Newcastle United finished the Champions League group stage in fourth place and thus lost important points for the Premier League. The Bundesliga lost only one team, Union Berlin, and the Serie A clubs all qualified for the round of 16.

Things initially looked positive for the Premier League after Arsenal, Manchester City, West Ham United and Aston Villa qualified for the quarter-finals in their respective competitions and two other Bundesliga clubs were eliminated.

However, all Premier League clubs were eliminated from the competition in the quarter-finals except for Aston Villa and the Bundesliga still has three clubs in the running.

Serie A was already out of reach for the Premier League and, regardless of Aston Villa’s performance, the Bundesliga is mathematically out of reach after Borussia Dortmund’s victory over Paris Saint-German.

Who will get the extra spots?

It is already clear that Serie A and the Bundesliga will each get an extra spot in the Champions League next season.

Should Borussia Dortmund win the final, the top six teams in the Bundesliga table would even qualify for the next Champions League season.

The UEFA coefficient table currently looks like this.

  1. Italy, 19,857
  2. Germany, 19,071
  3. England, 17,375
  4. France, 16,250
  5. Spain, 15,437