How to Qualify For Europe – an Update


As the SPL approaches its climax, it’s time to have a look at what clubs need to do to qualify for Europe this season.  Due to poor performances in Europe between 2007/08 and 2011/12, Scotland will have four teams in Europe rather than the five teams which took part last season.  Some of these teams will enter earlier than they did in previous seasons too.

Champions League

The SPL champions will enter next season’s Champions League.  Celtic are almost certain to take up that spot, and will enter in the 2nd Qualifying Round – a round earlier than they did last year.  That means they will have to progress through three qualifying rounds in order to make the group stage.  However, just like this season, they will only face champions of smaller countries, avoiding the 3rd and 4th placed sides from bigger nations.  In theory, that should give them an easier route to the group stage.  Their impressive performances in this season’s Champions League mean that it is almost certain that they will be seeded in each of their three qualifying rounds.

Europa League

Scotland will have three Europa League spots next season – two for the SPL, plus one for the Scottish Cup.  Hibs will take up the Scottish Cup spot regardless of the outcome of the final, because opponents Celtic will take part in the Champions League next season.  Hibs will be joined in the Europa League by the sides finishing 2nd and 3rd in this season’s SPL.

One of the three sides will enter the Europa League at the 3rd Qualifying Round, meaning they would have to win two ties to reach the Group Stage.  The other two sides will enter at the 2nd Qualifying Round and will have to win three ties to get to the Group Stage.  Exactly which clubs enter at which stage depends on the outcome of the Scottish Cup final.

If Hibs win the Scottish Cup

  • Hibs will enter the 3rd Qualifying Round.
  • 2nd and 3rd in the SPL will enter the 2nd Qualifying Round.

If Celtic win the Scottish Cup

  • 2nd in the SPL will enter the the 3rd Qualifying Round
  • Hibs and 3rd in the SPL will enter the 2nd Qualifying Round.

About SPLstats
Providing statistics and trivia about Scottish football. Main focus is the SPL, but all Scottish football will be covered. Not affiliated to the SPL.

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