Man Utd, Arsenal and co hit with bad news as Champions League hopes put under threat

Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea have been dealt a Champions League blow as their place in the group stage of future competitions as been put in doubt.


Posted Wednesday, October 09, 2019 by Express.co.uk

Manchester United, Arsenal and a number of other Premier League teams face a grueling Champions League qualifier if they finish in fourth place in the league from 2021.

The Premier League has had four automatic places in the Champions League since last season.

But, England will be losing one of their automatic spots in Europe's elite competition from 2021.

That means the team that finishes fourth faces an unwanted August play-off to make it through the group stages.

The teams that do qualify for the Champions League face a £30million cut in cash prizes, in a bid to stop a breakaway league.

It had been proposed that the best teams in Europe would form a separate European competition, that would include promotion and relegation.

But, the drop in cash bonuses could prove to be a sticking point for any future plans.

President of the European leagues, Lars Christer Olsson, thinks it's only fair that the major leagues are given the same number of Champions League places.

Man Utd, Arsenal and co hit with bad news as Champions League hopes put under threat
Champions League: Man Utd, Arsenal and co dealt qualification blow (Image: GETTY Images)

"I think some of the big leagues would be fine if they are all treated in the same way," he said.

"If you are giving four positions to the Premier League and taking one away from the Bundesliga then you have a problem.

"The big leagues are prepared to participate in this discussion for something new if they are treated the same."

The most recent time a Premier League time has had to endure the Champions League play-off was in 2017, when Liverpool took on Hoffenheim.

The play-off cut Liverpool's pre-season short, as they traveled to Germany on August 15 for the first leg of the tie, which they won 2-1.

A week later, the Reds beat Hoffenheim 4-2 to seal a 6-3 victory, and they progressed to the group phase.

A year previous, and Manchester City beat Steaua Bucharest 6-0 on aggregate, in Pep Guardiola's first competitive fixtures as City manager.



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