Monday, May 12, 2008

Fulham in UEFA Cup?

Wha, Wha, Wha, What!!! From
Fulham could find out this week if their remarkable escape from relegation will be capped by a place in next season's UEFA Cup.

Manchester City had been the favourites to land England's bonus place in the competition after the Premier League topped the continent's fair play competition.

The place will go to the highest-placed side in the Premier League's own fair play table not to have qualified for Europe by other means.

Until yesterday City had been in pole position but they had skipper Richard Dunne sent off in their 8-1 final game thrashing by Middlesbrough.

Dunne's dismissal could therefore see Fulham, who survived the drop only after Danny Murphy scored a 76th-minute winner at Portsmouth, leap above them.

The table, however, is complicated as it takes into account factors such as respect towards referees and opponents, 'positive play' and behaviour of club officials, as well as red and yellow cards.

The Premier League must await all delegates' reports before the final standings can be compiled and UEFA must then carry out an audit.

Publication is therefore not likely until later in the week or even early next week.

Tottenham had been the country's top-ranked side in the fair play league last week but they have already qualified for the UEFA Cup.
If the matter was simply red and yellow cards, Fulham would not qualify, but the other factors that play a role could see Fulham with UEFA appearances (which means added money to the treasury).

Who would have thunk that a 17th Place team would get a UEFA spot.

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