Fair Play places to be confirmed

02 May 2013 11:47

The Premier League will discover early next week whether it has landed an additional place in the Europa League next season.

Through UEFA's Fair Play League, three places are on offer for the first qualifying round of the competition, with England in fourth place when the interim rankings were unveiled in January.

The period for assessment ended on April 30, so if England have ousted Norway, Sweden or Finland, the highest-placed team in their own Fair Play table who has not qualified for Europe - presently Liverpool - will be ushered in.

Reds manager Brendan Rodgers has already stated his desire not to get into the Europa League through the back door, partly due to his preference to qualify thanks to improved league performances, but also the knowledge his side's first competitive match would be on July 4.

As the place in the first qualifying round is non-negotiable - Fulham started last season on June 30 - it would in addition scupper Liverpool's summer tour, which is due to see them play matches in Australia, Thailand and Indonesia.

However, the chances of such a scenario unfolding would appear to be remote.

For the last two seasons, the intermediate rankings have remained the same when the final rankings were published and with more intense games at the end of the season, it seems more likely England will go down, rather than up.

Source: PA