Monday, April 27, 2009

Everton are now guaranteed a Europa League spot

Well that's a very very slight silver lining to a pretty thick ugly cloud. Having the sport guaranteed means we'll be able to nurse Saha, Fellaini and Cahill into the final.

From the official Everton website :

Everton are now guaranteed European football next season. The Toffees' run to the FA Cup final and their excellent position in the Barclays Premier League had made a place in the 2009/10 Europa League a probability.

But despite losing to Manchester City on Saturday, that qualification has now been assured. Chelsea beat West Ham 1-0 and secured a Champions League place. As a result, the Toffees will qualify for the Europa League through the FA Cup - regardless of whether they defeat Chelsea in the final.

The Europa League replaces the Uefa Cup and adopts a format that mirrors the Champions League. The Blues will now have to overcome a play-off round tie before entering a new format group stage.

The new-look league will have 48 clubs in 12 groups of four, with teams playing each other home and away as opposed to just once as it stands now. The top two in each group then join the eight third-placed Champions League clubs in a 32-club knock-out stage.

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