What does it mean now that Arsenal have missed out on qualifying for the European Conference League?
Arsenal put in an impressive performance against Brighton to finish the season with a 2-0 win and five wins in a row but it was not enough to overhaul ‘title challengers’, Tottenham, who finished above an Arsenal side that scored fewer goals at home than in any season since 1912/13 (when they were relegated) by a whopping one point.
Tottenham, who started the season with ambitions of winning the title, will now take their place in the inaugural European League Conference thanks to finishing seventh.
If the Europa League is the European kiddies table, then the Conference League must be the dog bowl, but Arsenal don’t have to worry about feasting on European scraps for the next season and nobody is quite sure if that’s a good or bad thing.
The prize money is not dissimilar to the Europa League, peanuts compared to the financial bounty that is the
European Super League Champions League.
Each win generates €500k (€630k Europa League), a draw €166k (€210k) while just for qualifying Spurs will get €2.94m (€3.63m). No small amounts in these tight times, but nothing when compared to the billions talked about these days.
Like the Europa League, games will be played on Thursday nights so Arsenal are not doomed to another Thursday-Sunday cycle for the next season, at least. Kick-offs will be at 5.45pm and 8pm, not that we need to worry about those.
As the English ‘winners’ of a Conference League spot, Tottenham will enter the competition in Play-off round one, playing two legs on August 19 and 26 with the Premier League set to start on August 14.
There will be eight groups of four with the winners going through to the last 16 with extra knockout round playoffs between the eight groups runners ups and the third place sides from the Europa League.
The group games are due to start on September 16 with the final group game taking place on December 9.
The final is set to be played in Tirana, Albania on May 25.
Arsenal, meanwhile, can ‘focus on the league’ and bringing back St Totteringham’s Day.