Man Utd and Newcastle in danger of costing Premier League Champions League spot under new UEFA rules

Man Utd and Newcastle in danger of costing Premier League Champions League spot under new UEFA rules

Manchester United and Newcastle are at risk of costing the Premier League an extra Champions League spot next season.

The most prestigious club competition in European club football is set to undergo a major change in the 2024-25 campaign.

From next season, 36 clubs will take part in the Champions League and will all be in one big league table, rather than 32 teams being divided into eight groups of four.

Every team will play eight matches, four home and four away, but all against different opponents. After this stage, the top eight teams go straight to the last 16, while teams placed between ninth and 24th in the table move on to a play-off round.

The new format, dubbed 'the Swiss model', has been brought in by UEFA in response to the failed breakaway European Super League.

As part of the changes, the two best-performing leagues in Europe this season will each get one extra place for 2024-25 campaign.

This is determined by each association's UEFA coefficient ranking for the 2023-24 season.

In the Premier League's case, this would mean gaining a fifth spot in the Champions League.

In seven of the past 11 seasons, the Premier League would have merited this extra spot based on England's coefficient ranking the previous season.

But they are on course to miss out next year.

England are currently ranked fourth with an average rating of 10.625, behind Germany (11.500), Spain (11.187) and Italy (10.714) in the rankings for the 2023-24 campaign.

The coefficient of an association is calculated by adding up the points obtained by all clubs, granted after winning matches in European club competitions, and then dividing the total by the number of clubs from that association that took part in the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League.

England's relatively poor rating this season is partly because of Manchester United and Newcastle's underwhelming performance in the Champions League.

United are currently bottom of their group and must beat Bayern Munich in their final game and hope FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray draw in order to progress.

Newcastle, meanwhile, are third in their group and must beat AC Milan and hope PSG drop points at Borussia Dortmund to make it through.

There is the chance that both clubs could finish bottom and be eliminated entirely from European competition this season.

When coupled with the fact they are playing teams from Italy and Germany, currently ranked higher than England in the coefficient rankings for this season, it would be a major blow for the Premier League's hopes of securing the extra Champions League spot.
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