How can fifth place in Premier League earn Uefa Champions League spot?

rugby09 April 2024 12:00
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An explanation of how one extra Premier League club could qualify for the 2024/25 Uefa Champions League campaign.

Two leagues in Europe this season will be rewarded with an extra place in the revamped 2024/25 Uefa Champions League (UCL) based on the record of their clubs in all of Uefa’s competitions this campaign.

That means in the case of the Premier League, as well as the top four-placed teams, the club finishing fifth could go straight into the Uefa Champions League.

That is great news for the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and Manchester United, who seem at present to be battling for one spot, fourth.

The Premier League is currently in third spot in the fight for the top two places, behind Italy and Germany.

But there are five English teams in the quarterfinals of this season's European competitions, while Germany only have three, so the Premier League's representatives are pushing hard to overtake and move into the top two.


Uefa calculates which two leagues will be rewarded by adding up coefficient points based on the performances of clubs from each league across the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League.

Every win, no matter the competition, earns each league two points, while a draw gets one point, and there are no points for defeat.

The further that teams progress in their competitions, additional bonus points are awarded, which are weighted according to the competition.

Champions League bonus points
- Group stage - four
- Round of 16 - five
- Quarterfinal, semifinal, final - one

Europa League bonus points
- Group winners - four
- Group runners-up - two
- Round of 16, quarterfinal, semifinal, final - one

Europa Conference League bonus points
- Group winners - two
- Group runners-up - one
- Semifinal, final - one

The points of all participating clubs are totalled and then divided by the number of clubs who started the season in Uefa competitions, to calculate the coefficient average.

As the Uefa competitions are in the quarterfinals here is the coefficients rank as of 08:30 GMT 15 March.

Uefa coefficient rankings* (teams remaining)
1. Italy, 17.714 (QF 4)
2. Germany, 16.357 (QF 3)
3. England, 16.250 (QF 5)
4. France, 14.750 (QF 3)
5. Spain, 14.437 (QF 3)

*Source: ESPN; as of 08:30 GMT 15 March

Which league’s teams remain in the competitions?

Arsenal and Manchester City have reached the Champions League quarterfinals, while Liverpool and West Ham United are through to the last eight of the Europa League, and Aston Villa have reached the same stage of the Europa Conference League.

It leaves the Premier League with more clubs in European quarterfinals than all of the other top five countries in the battle for the extra Champions League spots.

West Ham's last-16 victory over German club Freiburg was particularly significant given that Germany and England are second and third respectively in the fight for the top two spots in the coefficient ranking.

That factor adds an extra layer of intrigue to Arsenal's upcoming duel with Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinals, and West Ham's meeting with Bayer Leverkusen.

Germany additionally have Borussia Dortmund involved in the Champions League, facing Atletico Madrid.

Brighton & Hove Albion were knocked out of the Europa League in the last 16 by Roma, strengthening Italy's place at the top of the standings. Italy have four teams in European quarterfinals, while France have three, lying fourth in the coefficient ranking.