The race for fifth is on

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Unless Manchester City win their appeal, the fifth – placed Premier League finisher will play in the Premier League

Fifth place could qualify for Champions League
If Manchester City finish in the top four and their ban is upheld by CAS, it would mean a Champions League place would go to the team who finish fifth in the Premier League.

UEFA rule 4.08 states: “A club which is not admitted to the competition is replaced by the next best-placed club in the top domestic championship of the same association, provided the new club fulfils the admission criteria. In this case, the access list (see Annex A) is adjusted accordingly.”

Sheffield United are currently fifth in the Premier League table on 39 points, two points ahead of Tottenham who have a game in hand.

“The fact Manchester City are going to appeal this is no big surprise, but this is still something of a shock in European football.

“What happens now is all roads lead to sleepy Lausanne in Switzerland, and the Court of Arbitration for Sport – the highest court in sport. It has presided over many high-profile cases in world football and it is where UEFA and Manchester City are going to go head to head.

“The stakes could hardly be higher and spare a thought too for the clubs sitting fifth and sixth in the Premier League in particular – Sheffield United and Tottenham – because ultimately, if this sanction does follow through, then that would have huge ramifications for the fourth place. That would then go to the fifth-placed team in the Premier League, who would then bump up a place and reach the Champions League for the next season.

“Certainly, this is not a process that is finished yet. It ultimately now leads to the courts.”

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