Premier League, EFL, Scottish football: Ups, downs & European qualification – BBC Sport

Manchester City picked up the first major silverware of the English season – but are banned from playing in Europe for two seasons unless they win their appeal to Cas

BBC Sport outlines promotion and relegation – and the race for European qualification – in England and Scotland for 2019-20.

Football in the Premier League, English Football League (EFL) and in Scotland was suspended on 13 March because of the coronavirus pandemic, with the National League following suit on 16 March. Some leagues remain on hold, while others have been officially curtailed by their governing bodies.

Recent confirmed promotions, relegations, titles & qualifications

Premier League

The season was suspended with teams having played 28 or 29 of their 38 games. The intention is to resume on 17 June.

Leaders Liverpool, while not having clinched the title before football was halted, had already made sure of their place in next season’s Champions League group stage, where they will be joined by three other sides.

As things stand, Manchester City are banned from European club competitions for breaching Uefa’s club licensing and financial fair play regulations, although they have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Their case was held on 8-10 June and the verdict is expected in July.

Should City lose their appeal and finish in the top four, their Champions League spot goes to the fifth-placed team.

If Chelsea win the Champions League and finish outside the top four, they will qualify for next season’s Champions League. The same applies to Manchester City – should they win their appeal, finish outside the top four and win the Champions League. However, if Chelsea or City – if their appeal is successful – win the Champions League and finish in the top four, there is no extra place for English clubs.

If Manchester United or Wolves win the Europa League and finish outside the top four, they will qualify for next season’s Champions League. However, no country may have more than five teams in the Champions League – so if English clubs win both competitions but both finish outside the top four, the fourth-placed side will enter the Europa League instead.

England has three Europa League places. One will go to the FA Cup winners (unless they have already qualified for Europe by their league position), the other two will go to the highest-placed Premier League sides who have not qualified for the Champions League. Two teams will enter at the group stage, and one in the second qualifying round.

Manchester City’s victory in the Carabao Cup final, coupled with their European ban, means the Europa place reserved for EFL Cup winners reverts to the league.

All European qualification places are subject to confirmation by Uefa.

The bottom three teams will be relegated to the Championship.

Championship

The season was suspended after 37 of the scheduled 46 games and the intention is to restart on 20 June.

The top two teams will be promoted to the Premier League, with the next four entering the play-offs.

The bottom three teams will be relegated to League One.

League One

The season was suspended with teams having played 34 or 35 of their 44 games, and ended on 9 June with places decided on a points-per-game basis.

Champions Coventry City and runners-up Rotherham United will be promoted to the Championship.

In the play-offs for the final promotion place, Wycombe face Fleetwood, with Oxford taking on Portsmouth.

Because of Bury’s expulsion reducing League One to 23 teams, only the bottom three teams are relegated to League Two – Tranmere Rovers, Southend United and Bolton Wanderers.

League Two

The season was suspended with teams having played 36 or 37 of their 46 games, and ended on 9 June with places decided on a points-per-game basis.

Champions Swindon Town will be promoted to League One, alongside Crewe Alexandra and Plymouth Argyle.

In the play-offs for the final promotion place, Cheltenham face Northampton and Exeter take on Colchester. The semi-final first legs will be on 18 June, the second legs on 22 June, and the final on 29 June.

Because of former League One side Bury’s expulsion, only the bottom side was due to be relegated to the National League – but the situation is complicated by an ongoing misconduct charge against Macclesfield Town. They have already been deducted 11 points but a further deduction could move them below bottom club Stevenage into the relegation place.

In a statement, the EFL said “due to ongoing disciplinary matters, the final placings cannot yet be confirmed”.

National League

The season was suspended with teams having played between 35 and 39 of their 46 games, and clubs voted to end the season immediately on 22 April. Promotion and relegation issues were left “under careful consideration” – and cannot be decided fully until the EFL has made a final decision on its leagues.

Normally, the National League champions are promoted to League Two, together with the winner of play-offs contested by the next six teams.

Usually, the bottom four teams are relegated and replaced by the champions and play-off winners of the National League North and South divisions. However, the knock-on effect of Bury’s expulsion from the EFL could mean a reprieve for the club finishing 21st.

Scottish Premiership

Celtic were named as champions for the ninth season in a row

The Premiership season was ended on 18 May by the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL), with teams having played 29 or 30 of their 38 scheduled matches, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Celtic were confirmed as champions and will enter the Champions League at the first qualifying round.

Second-placed Rangers and third-placed Motherwell have qualified for the Europa League, as will the winners of the postponed Scottish Cup.

If Celtic win the Scottish Cup, or if the cup cannot be completed by Uefa’s deadline, Rangers will enter the Europa League in the second qualifying round, with Motherwell and fourth-placed Aberdeen in the first qualifying round.

If Aberdeen, Hearts or Hibernian win the Scottish Cup, they will enter the Europa League in the second qualifying round, with Rangers and Motherwell in the first qualifying round.

All European qualification places are subject to confirmation by Uefa.

Bottom club Hearts will be relegated to the Scottish Championship.

Scottish Championship

When the SPFL formally ended the 2019-20 season for the three lower divisions on 15 April, Dundee United were declared champions and promoted to the Scottish Premiership.

Bottom club Partick Thistle will be relegated to Scottish League One.

Scottish League One

When the SPFL formally ended the 2019-20 season for the three lower divisions on 15 April, Raith Rovers were declared champions and promoted to the Scottish Championship.

Bottom club Stranraer will be relegated to Scottish League Two.

Scottish League Two

When the SPFL formally ended the 2019-20 season for the three lower divisions on 15 April, Cove Rangers were declared champions and promoted to Scottish League One.

Brechin City finished bottom of the league, but were spared a play-off against the Highland League or Lowland League champions, while talks over possible restructuring of the leagues broke down.

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