FA confirms 4th place Champion's League spot

Last updated : 05 May 2005 By Austin Rathe
The decision comes after Liverpool qualified for the final of the tournament, and means that they will not play in the competition next year even if they beat AC Milan later this month.

Everton are currently 4th and could confirm their place for next year this weekend by beating Newcastle, if Liverpool also slip up.

The decision was recommended by FA's professional game board, upon which Liverpool fan & FA Chief Executive Brian Barwick does not have a vote.

A statement on the FA website said: "This will not be changed whatever the outcome of Liverpool's Champions League Final in Istanbul on 25 May.

There are three reasons why the FA has gone down this route. Firstly, it is possible that Everton could have sued them for effectivly changing the rules of the Premier League part way through a season. Secondly, they want to maintain the integrity and value of their own competition and thirdly the pressure is now on UEFA to give Liverpool special permission to enter the competition, in order to protect the value of their own competition.

Everton Chief Exec Keith Wyness was being pragmatic this evening: "Whilst we welcome the announcement from the FA regarding clarification on the fourth place qualification issue, we are still operating in a hypothetical situation with regards to Everton's position." he said.