The new season of England’s top flight football has kicked-off in sublime fashion with all sides gearing up for another campaign of swashbuckling and extravagant Premier League football.
Treble-winners Manchester City brushed past Burnley in their opening fixture, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal all opened their account with three points with a opening day win at the Emirates while Liverpool and Chelsea were held at a stalemate in their first game when the two sides locked horns at the Stamford Bridge.While every English club would be hoping to tie the ribbons of their club colors on the illustrious trophy at the end of the campaign, the Premier League managers would also be looking to secure their side a ticket to the UEFA Champions League next season.
HOW TO QUALIFY FOR THE UCL?
Previously the top-4 teams from the Premier League standings at the end of the season would receive automatic qualifications to the UEFA Champions League.
First-placed Manchester City and runners-up Arsenal shared the qualification places with third-placed Manchester United and fourth-placed Newcastle United, with all four sides automatically sealing a spot to the tournament.
Although this season, the Premier League clubs could be handed an extra incentive with the English league tipped to witness five clubs earn a spot in the UCL next season.
WHO GETS THE EXTRA SPOT?
The UEFA Champions League will experience a change in format from 2024/25. The new rules would see ’36’ teams vying for the prestigious prize in a “Swiss League” format until two of them cross swords in the final showdown at the Allianz Arena in Munich.
But for the first time in the Premier League’s history, five teams could be seen contesting for the crown instead of the usual four.
With the Champions League expanding the number of participants, additional places will be awarded to two countries whose teams perform the best in UEFA Competitions the season before. So for the Premier League clubs, this season becomes more important because the fifth-placed side could secure automatic qualification if the English sides’ perform well in Europe this summer.The English clubs would have to perform well not only in the Champions League but also in the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Conference League.
For instance last season Manchester City were crowned UCL winners with a hard-fought victory in Istanbul while David Moyes’ West Ham United brought home the UEFA Conference League. If this rule would have been stated previously, the Premier League clubs would have benefitted in five out of the past six seasons.
If the English sides are able to replicate their heroics from last season again this season, whichever teams finishes a place below the top-4 at the end of the season will be awarded the extra seat.
In a rare case scenario, the English league could also be awarded seven spots in the next edition of the UEFA Champions League. For this to happen, two Premier League clubs would have to win the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League and finish their own domestic season outside of the top-5.