Skip to Main Content
Members:   Log In  |  Sign Up
The Mail Bag

Champions League Play offs

Comments (44)

I see an article on Sky Sports today says Richard Scudamore announcing that the Premier League have looked into the idea of the teams finishing 4th - 7th playing off for the 4th Champions League spot.

It seems from this that the majority of teams were in favour but the "big 4" vetoed it in another self-protectionist move.

Grant Smith, Birkenhead     Posted 24/05/2011 at 14:36:37

back Return to the Mail Bag


Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Ben Jones
1   Posted 24/05/2011 at 14:59:51

Report abuse

Yea, I saw that here:

If the Prem had taken this on board, then we would be playing Arsenal in a play-off for the Champions League spot. We would have a completely different outlook on the season.

It probably wont happen in the future, due to the power of the big clubs, but I would love it to happen if it could. It would give Everton more of a chance for Champions League football, that's for sure.

Chris Keightley
2   Posted 24/05/2011 at 15:00:51

Report abuse

I love that idea ? however, I can't see Man Shitteh or Spurs wanting that ? nor do I want to see the likes of Fulham or Sunderland having an outside chance of Champions League football. For us it would be great as we are probably destined for 7th for a while.
James Marshall
3   Posted 24/05/2011 at 15:19:21

Report abuse

At last, a good idea.
Mark James
4   Posted 24/05/2011 at 15:14:05

Report abuse

I definately like the idea, although sounds like Scudamore/Prem League has bent over and taken it from the biig boys again.

I can't see something like this happening as it'll always be the case of clubs like Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal throwing their toys out of the pram and probably threatening to boycott the league if they went ahead with the plans.
Andrew Ellams
5   Posted 24/05/2011 at 15:30:53

Report abuse

Or the alternative theory is now that Man City and Spurs have split the favourite 4 for two seasons in a row, maybe the likes of Arsenal and the RS are seeking a 'Get out of Jail' card just in case.
Dan Parker
6   Posted 24/05/2011 at 15:33:16

Report abuse

Given our record against the top 6 this season, we'd have a good shout for sure.
Trevor Mackie
7   Posted 24/05/2011 at 15:31:03

Report abuse

Looks more like a plan to include our "offshoot club" across Stanley Park ? they don't look top 4 anytime soon to me.

The Kenny old boy network on telly might talk him up but, unless he's changed a lot, I don't rate him above cheerleader for the deluded scally mob.
Chris Bannantyne
8   Posted 24/05/2011 at 15:44:43

Report abuse

Yeah, but now that the RS are up the creek, if they finish outside the four again you might just see the Premier League revisit this idea...

Probably not. They'd probably just say "top four plus Liverpool"
Larry Boner
9   Posted 24/05/2011 at 15:52:44

Report abuse

Trevor, completely spot on: influx of money is threatening the cosy original G14 members, whatever can be done to keep the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal under the PL umbrella will be done, but the obvious scenario will be the breakaway European League, there is no other alternative.

Mega rich owners will not stand for just playing for 4 CL places when there are more than 4 challenging... on the horizon are QPR!

The best thing that could happen to European football is that the breakaway league happens, let's all get back to a level playing field and this is not just sour grapes, the game is destroyed.

Tony J Williams
10   Posted 24/05/2011 at 16:05:35

Report abuse

Daft idea, the Champion's League should be just that, the Champion's Legaue, not "come 4th and get in the Champion's League".

There are some leagues that the "Champions" don't even qualify automatically, they have to play qualifiers.

Bring back the Cup Winners Cup too, there was a tournament.
Paul Knox
11   Posted 24/05/2011 at 16:05:00

Report abuse

If or when we are back in the top 4 I am sure we wouldnt want it either.
The prem should be looking to break away from uefa ( as the F.A with Fifa). With the power of are prem and the big teams in Europe,the revenue would then go to the league ( premier) rather than corrupt and anti English platini .
Fran Mitchell
12   Posted 24/05/2011 at 16:18:29

Report abuse

If this was put in place when we finished 4th, would you have been so willing.

I love the way you say 'the top-4 clubs looking after themselves'....well, dont you want this idea to take off just to help the blues cause?

I'm with Tony, the only reform should be the reduction of the Chapions League. Champions Qualify, Second Place enter a play-off with other European clubs who finished 2nd (no seeding, so a Chelsea-Madrid ply-off should be possible). All other champions qualify, even if from scotland, croatia etc. his could reduce the domination of rich leagues and the destruction of the domestic game in many countries.
James Stewart
13   Posted 24/05/2011 at 16:26:06

Report abuse

Never liked the idea of play offs. You are where you are at the end of the season and should be rewarded accordingly. No thanks and I don't like them in the lower leagues either.
Trevor Lynes
14   Posted 24/05/2011 at 16:32:50

Report abuse

Lets face it, boys ? Our squad is not big enough to be able to compete in more games than we already play... God help us if Baines got injured!!
Chris Keightley
15   Posted 24/05/2011 at 16:36:50

Report abuse

James, I think play-offs make a fitting end to any season, and in most sports this is the way. I find it exciting watching the play-offs in the lower leagues, and have watched some highly entertaining games. This season's semis in League One and the Championship were brilliant ? get off your penny farthing and maybe watch a couple??
Grant Smith
16   Posted 24/05/2011 at 16:36:22

Report abuse

Fran #12 ? perhaps I should have been clearer. My point about the top 4 is that they appear to be the majority on this matter yet their combined wealth/power renders the views of the other teams meaningless it seems. It would not only be Everton that this would help; it would also inject excitement into the second half of the top ten.
Grant Smith
17   Posted 24/05/2011 at 16:45:19

Report abuse

The whole European football in its entirety needs looking at. The Europa League is a dead duck of a competetion.
Gerry Quinn
18   Posted 24/05/2011 at 16:50:17

Report abuse

Stop pissing around with the ridiculously named Champions League - only one team can be Champions of their country ? NOT FOUR!

Bring back the following immediately:

European Cup ? entry for EPL Champions ONLY

Inter Cities Fairs Cup ? entry for next 3 in League ONLY

European Cup Winners Cup ? entry for FA Cup winners ONLY

The Fuck-All Money Available To Buy Decent Players European Milk and Beer Cup (FAMATBDPEMABC) ? open to Milk Cup winners, or whatever it is called this week ? and teams like us.
Gerry Quinn
19   Posted 24/05/2011 at 16:56:00

Report abuse

Oh, and bring back the numerous replays you used to get in the FA Cup -eradicate the crappy "throw of a dice" penalty kick sagas!
Gerry Quinn
20   Posted 24/05/2011 at 16:57:47

Report abuse

... and if there was no such thing as the frikkin "transfer window", would Bily and Vic still be here?
Gerry Quinn
21   Posted 24/05/2011 at 16:59:59

Report abuse

...and, yes, I AM bored!

Brian Waring
22   Posted 24/05/2011 at 16:53:08

Report abuse

Farcial idea. Arsenal, the 4th placed team, finished 14pts ahead of us in 7th. How would it be fair if this scenario was to happen, and we qualified for the Champions League through it instead of Arsenal?

How farcical would it be if that 7th placed team actually went on to win the Champions League?

Picture this: the Premier League brings this idea up a few years ago, and decide to launch it in the 2003-04 season... would it still have been a good idea then?
Tony J Williams
23   Posted 24/05/2011 at 17:20:38

Report abuse

James, "I think play-offs make a fitting end to any season" ? I personally think it is a load of money-making bollocks. You have potentially a seventh placed side who has possibly ended up with 10/15 points less than the third placed side of a season sometimes going through to a higher league.

How is that fair? Money-making nonsense... but we have to pay for Wembley, don't we?
Brian Waring
24   Posted 24/05/2011 at 17:28:00

Report abuse

Exactly Tony.
Eugene Ruane
25   Posted 24/05/2011 at 18:09:33

Report abuse

I agree Brian, it should be on merit (ie: points).

Which is why the 'fair play' Uefa thing is such wank.

Rewarded for NOT getting stuck in and getting less points ? pathetic.
Andrew Gilbert
26   Posted 24/05/2011 at 18:44:30

Report abuse

Grant, Who are the big four?

Not a terrible idea.

I would also like to see the Europa League revert back to a knockout competition.
Anthony Millington
27   Posted 24/05/2011 at 18:47:24

Report abuse

This is probably because they realise Liverpool won't finish in the top four anymore so change the rules to give them a better chance!
Nick Entwistle
28   Posted 24/05/2011 at 20:02:30

Report abuse

In the interests of football as a whole, it should be from 3rd down to 6th.

What the top four has allowed is every foreign player knows what teams to sign for in the PL. Ok, Benithez essentially had Liverpool relegated from this chosen few, and now some rejigging has been made it look like Man City will now be their replacement.

Anyways, if you're a real top player, you wouldn't look to go to anyone outside of this elite as has been the case for seasons (except of course for City's billions). If 3rd down to 6th were to play off for the possibility, then a whole number of teams would be in with a shout for the top players, as it used to be. Asprilla and Ginola to Newcastle, Gullit and Vialli to Chelsea, etc etc.

But if this story is in any way true, I'd imagine it is all lip service as, in my opinion, which could be all wrong, the PL's Asian contracts exploded into huge wealth when the top 4 was cemented after Leeds and Newcastle's collapses, and having the Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal fan bases erode due to their potential falling out of the CL places like Liverpool, it could mean Timmy Chinese and JimBob Malaysia start fancying the bandwagon of Barcelona or Milan instead.

Just a thought...

Chris James
29   Posted 24/05/2011 at 20:10:26

Report abuse

I think this is a brilliant idea.

It's already pretty ludicrous that a team finishing 4th is in the 'Champions' League in the first place, so why not 4th-7th playing off for the final slot in the CL qualifiers? It would add more spice to end of season (and a couple more games).

As for the Europa League, Uefa basically need to either get behind it or fuck it off. The competition needs more prize money and less games so it's something teams want to actually enter that doesn't fuck up their chances in the league next season.
Nick Entwistle
30   Posted 24/05/2011 at 20:43:31

Report abuse

Chris, the conspiracists may suggest that the Europa increased the number of games in the tournament to make it harder on those teams to challenge their CL superiors for their places in their domestic leagues.

It's not a difficult idea to come up with, so why wouldn't it be implemented? Few games? Never gonna happen.
Chris Matheson
31   Posted 24/05/2011 at 21:08:59

Report abuse

Play-offs were originally introduced when they reduced the First Division in size so four went down and two came up. It was deemed unfair that somebody finished fourth from bottom in the top league could lose their place to someone not winning the league below, so the play off was intrdoduced. These were exciting games so were introduced at the end of every season even though they had straight three up and three down.

But, as someone else has said, in a regular season, surely it is where you finish in the league that should determine success.

All that said, and I am with Gerry on this one, the whole European system stinks, it is a cartel. Scrap this self-perpetuating oligarchy, bring back a cup format from the off, Champions only. If the rich clubs don't like it, they can leave.

Platini is not anti-English he just doesn't like distorted competition as we have in this counfry.

And my final comment: the reason the PL are proposing this is the same reason as that daft 39th game idea from two years ago ? more games and so more money for the PL. They can get stuffed, they are rich enough already.
Dick Fearon
32   Posted 24/05/2011 at 22:14:49

Report abuse

One important thing that most have ignored is that all major decisions about the game are made by Sky and not the FA or the League and certainly not by mugs like us whose only input is the money to keep the entire corrupt circus on the road.
Ben Jones
33   Posted 24/05/2011 at 23:10:44

Report abuse

I don't understand some peole on here. Everyone on Toffeeweb says they are fed up of the coverage of the Sky 4 bla bla bla... but then when the Prem suggests something exciting and gives Everton a genuine chance of Champs League football, and then suddenly it isn't morally right?! It's ridiculous!

Will this benefit Everton Football Club? YES. Will it make the Prem more exciting? Definitely yes!

Try telling fans of the Football League that the play-offs is a bad idea?
Roberto Birquet
34   Posted 24/05/2011 at 23:19:38

Report abuse

Chris, No 2 ? "I love that idea; however, I can't see Man Shitteh or Spurs wanting that ? nor do I want to see the likes of Fulham or Sunderland having an outside chance of Champions League football."

Why not? Everyone should have a chance. And I think it'll happen one day. Competitionis supposed to be (though I have never believed it as real) part of our society, what makes it advance. But, just like mature capitalism, what we get is oligopoly, and financial power also dictating to the regulators, such as the Prem League or the FA.

I usually like Hansen ? sorry, but I do. Yeah he was a handball-cheating fceker who stole a cup off us, but he talks more sense than others on telly. But what a load of crap he wrote in the Telegraph this week. The best league in the world.

Actually Al, yet again the great excitement at the end of the English season came at the bottom of the league. How can we call that the best?

Man U (hats off to a well run football team) essentially buys its way to the CL as do Chelsea and will do Man City.

This idea would change all that. Surprise teams will make the competition. Players will be more willing to stick with a club like Spurs, us, even at the mo, the Shite, as there'll likely be chances of success to top level football.

Clubs below Man U, Man C, Chelsea will occassionally receive huge boosts to the bank account, making clubs more financially viable, and leading to a more competitive, exciting League . More clubs will get wider recogniition home and abroad. It can only boost English football.

But there will be huge resistance. Some players, and ex-players who frankly view things only from a player perspective, will say it's not fair that you've worked hard to get 4th, and may lose out. We should ignore such bleating.

But the real opposition will be the already big money clubs, who like Coca Cola or Tesco will seek to throttle the chance of upstarts like Everton, Sunderland or Newcastle looking to muscle in.

I'd just add a further twist. Top 3 go into the CL. Then 4th to 6th plus the Cup winners go into the play-offs. If Cup winner is already a top six team, 7th would get in instead.

Just imagine how teams even teams in the bottom half would battle throughout the season, and what it would do for the FA Cup.
Roberto Birquet
35   Posted 24/05/2011 at 23:38:56

Report abuse

"Farcial idea. Arsenal the 4th placed team, finished 14pts ahead of us in 7th. How would it be fair if this scenario was to happen, and we qualified for the Champions League through it instead of Arsenal?
Arsenal spent more than twice as much on player wages than us. How is that fair?

If you say they earned it, then Man City spent more than twice us on wages. How is that fair?

Even Platini calls that the equivalent of taking steroids. Is that fair?

As another has mentioned, the CL used to be for winners only. What is so special about fourth, especially when it is bought?

Anyone interested in English football history, go check how competitive it was from the 1950s all the way to 1997. Yeah, even when Liverpool were dominating from 1976-84: check out how many different clubs got into the top 4 then!
Jamie Sweet
36   Posted 25/05/2011 at 01:14:40

Report abuse

I like the idea I must admit. It may benefit Everton yes, which is my main reason for liking it, but it would also just bring back a bit of spice to the worthless competition we currently seem to be in, of "who can be the next best team besides the Super Rich?"

At least it wouldn't be like many competitions over here in NZ where there's a playoff to see who wins an entire Championship, whereby a team finishing 4th after an entire seaon, 20 points behind the team at the top of the table, goes on to be crowned "Champions".

Admittedly it tends to be the format for no-mark sports like egg-chasing and hoop-shooting, but it's still a bit of a joke if you ask me!
Dave Wilson
37   Posted 25/05/2011 at 06:41:21

Report abuse

Ben (#33)...

Couldn't agree more.
Mike Green
38   Posted 25/05/2011 at 08:52:16

Report abuse

Great idea.

The play-offs have been running for 20 years (?) now and people are well used to it. Long before the redevelopment of Wembley, Tony J Williams.

When teams come third they know they've missed the boat, have known they would've missed the boat since the start of the season, and are then due to play-off for not being good enough to get into the top 2.

Makes the Top 3 more competitive, makes the next 10 teams more competitive, keeps the season running further to the end, adds another dimension to the league to go with the title, relegation and automatic Champions League qualification, keeps the money teams on their toes, allows clubs like us an opportunity to mix things up, helps attract players to the league with improved chances of making Europe, adds 3 massive games (second legs and final) to the calendar.

It will make more money for the league. If you don't like yourself to be mugged off ? don't watch it or buy a ticket. Cancel your Sky subscription and stick to MotD.

In short ? how would making the league more competitive be a bad idea?
Chris Fisher
39   Posted 25/05/2011 at 10:10:27

Report abuse

The only club that wouldnt want this is Arsenal. It wouldnt bother Man United, for every other club especially Spurs and Liverpool would surely love this because they wont be finishing 4th for a long time and this would be there only route into the Champions League. It would certainly make the league more exciting and something needs to be done because at the moment its starting to get boring and the only way that will change for any club s if they get a billionaire owner.
Jimmy Hacking
40   Posted 25/05/2011 at 12:03:20

Report abuse

I personally don't understand the need for the Europa league at all. clearly nobody from the biggest 7 or 8 leagues in Europe is in the slightest bit interested in playing in it, and the financial rewards available are farcical.

Why not just scrap the tournament altogether, and let the teams finishing from 4th-6th and FA cup winners entering preliminary rounds for the CL? Im sure Spurs would rather play 3 rounds of CL qualifiers to have a crack at a proper tournament than 13 or 14 pointless EL games.
Norman Merrill
41   Posted 25/05/2011 at 12:01:01

Report abuse

Trevor # 14.
Made a very true point, until we can get our act together financially, and have the backing to strengthen our squad, we are just not in the mix.
As we have seen this, and past seasons, when players get injured, either playing for the country or us, we have a paper thin squad, and Moyes has to juggle what he has got, to send a team out.
Brian Waring
42   Posted 25/05/2011 at 19:53:58

Report abuse

You lads who think its a good idea.
Say we finished 4th next season, and the prem introduced it for next season, we finish... say 15 pts above the 7th placed team, and its the redshite. We have to play them in a play - off for that extra place, but they beat us so go through at our expense, and then go on to win the champions league.

One question, would it be a good idea then?
Ben Jones
43   Posted 25/05/2011 at 20:16:36

Report abuse

And you really think we can finish 4th Bryan? People deal with it in the play-offs in the lower leagues, so people should deal with it here.

All I want is the best for Everton Football Club and this idea clearly benefits Everton Football Club, especally as Spurs, City and possibly Liverpool are getting better with their money.
Brian Waring
44   Posted 26/05/2011 at 08:46:36

Report abuse

Ben we won't finish 4th ever again, or finish above the redshite.

As you point out, it would clearly benefit us because we are never going to finish 4th,and that's why you and others think it's a good idea, because we could get something out of it.

If we were perennial 4th place finishers (I know we won't be), I bet you and others would be on here up in arms, calling every governing body in football everything under the sun.

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment to the MailBag, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and MailBag submissions across the site.

© ToffeeWeb

Latest News

Subscribe to The Athletic, Get 40% off

Online Football Betting with Betway

Bet on Everton and get a deposit bonus with bet365 at

Recent Articles

Talking Points & General Forum

Pinned Links


We use cookies to enhance your experience on ToffeeWeb and to enable certain features. By using the website you are consenting to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.