Premier League and Football League: Ups & downs and European qualification

Manchester City lift the EFL Cup
Manchester City were the first English team to book their place in Europe as they lifted the Carabao Cup - and won the Premier League when Manchester United lost to West Brom on 15 April

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


21 Apr: Luton secure promotion from League Two
21 Apr: Wigan promoted back to the Championship
21 Apr: Sunderland relegated after Burton defeat
21: Apr: Wolves win Championship title
21 Apr: Macclesfield promoted to League Two
17 Apr: Guiseley relegated from National League
17 Apr: Accrington promoted to League One
15 Apr: Manchester City win Premier League title
14 Apr: Wolves promoted to Premier League
14 Apr: Bury relegated to League Two
14 Apr: St Mirren promoted to Scottish Premiership
7 Apr: Chester relegated from National League
24 Mar: Brechin City relegated to Scottish League One


Manchester City won the Premier League title on 15 April as Manchester United lost 1-0 to West Brom.

The top four teams will qualify for the group stage of next season's Champions League. The fifth-placed team will enter the Europa League at the group stage, as will the FA Cup winners. Because Manchester City have already guaranteed their Champions League place, their Europa League place as EFL Cup winners reverts to the league, so the sixth-placed team will also enter the Europa League.

Realistically, unless Southampton win the FA Cup, the seventh-placed team will also qualify for the Europa League (as two of the other three semi-finalists - Manchester United and Tottenham - are guaranteed to finish in the top six, while the third, Chelsea, are highly likely to do so). FA Cup runners-up are no longer eligible to enter Europe by virtue of being losing finalists.

If Arsenal win the Europa League and finish outside the top four, they will qualify for the Champions League, and only two English sides will enter the Europa League as no more than seven clubs from each country can compete in Europe.

Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham are assured of top-six places, and look likely to qualify for the Champions League. Chelsea will guarantee a European place if Burnley fail to win this weekend.

The bottom three teams will be relegated to the Championship. West Brom's relegation can be confirmed on Sunday if Swansea win against Man City.


Wolves celebrate
Long-time leaders Wolves were promoted with four games to spare

Leaders Wolves sealed promotion to the Premier League on 14 April without kicking a ball when rivals Fulham were held to a draw, and they clinched the title by beating Bolton 4-0 on Saturday.

The top two teams will be promoted, with the next four entering the play-offs. Cardiff, Fulham and Aston Villa are assured of at least a play-off place.

The bottom three teams will be relegated to League One. Sunderland's relegation was confirmed after their 2-1 defeat by Burton. Two of Burton, Barnsley, Bolton, Birmingham and Reading will go down with the Black Cats.


Bury players walk off after being relegated
Bury were the first Football League team to be relegated, on 14 April

Wigan became the first of two teams to be promoted to the Championship after their 4-0 win over Fleetwood on Saturday.

Blackburn, Shrewsbury and Rotherham are assured of at least a play-off place.

The bottom four teams will be relegated to League Two. Bury were the first Football League team to suffer this fate after a 3-2 home defeat by Northampton on 14 April.


Leaders Accrington Stanley were promoted to League One for the first time in their history by beating Yeovil 2-0 on 17 April.

Luton guaranteed one of the other two promotion places by beating Carlisle on Saturday.

The next four teams will enter the play-offs. Wycombe are assured of at least a play-off place, along with Exeter and Notts County.

The bottom two teams will be relegated to the National League. Chesterfield are on the brink of going down as they are nine points adrift with three games to go and have an inferior goal difference.


Macclesfield Town have been promoted to the English Football League after their win against Eastleigh crowned them National League champions.

Second-placed Tranmere will join five other teams in the play-offs.

The fourth and seventh-placed teams will meet in the first round of the play-offs, with the winners facing the second-placed side. Also in the first round, the fifth and sixth-placed teams play off for the right to face the third-placed side in the semi-finals. The two semi-final winners meet in the final, with the winners of that game promoted to the EFL.

The bottom four teams will be relegated, and replaced by the champions and play-off winners of the National League North and South divisions.

Salford City, co-owned by former Manchester United players Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt since 2014, won the National League North.

Chester were the first team in England's top five divisions to be relegated when they lost 2-0 to Tranmere on 7 April, while Guiseley joined them after losing 1-0 at home to Barrow on 17 April. Torquay were the third team relegated after their 1-1 draw with Hartlepool on Saturday.


The Premiership has split after the 33rd round of games, with the top six and the bottom six playing the other teams in their 'half' for a fourth and final time.

Celtic, already assured of a European place, failed to clinch the title on Saturday when they lost 2-1 to Hibernian.

The champions will enter the Champions League at the first qualifying round. The second and third-placed sides will qualify for the Europa League first qualifying round, with the Scottish Cup winners joining at the second qualifying round. This will be Motherwell if they win the Cup - but if Celtic win the cup, the fourth-placed Premiership team will qualify as well, as Celtic are already assured of Europe because of their league position.

The bottom side will be relegated to the Scottish Championship, while the 11th-placed side will face the winners of the Championship play-offs over two legs, with the losers condemned to a place in the second tier next season.


St Mirren celebrate promotion
St Mirren were the first team in Scotland or England's top leagues to clinch promotion

St Mirren were promoted to the Premiership as champions after avoiding defeat by Livingston on 14 April.

The third and fourth-placed teams will meet in the first round of the play-offs, with the winners playing the division's second-placed team. Whoever emerges victorious from that two-legged encounter will face the second bottom side in the Premiership - again on a home and away basis - with a spot in the top flight the prize. Livingston and Dundee United are both guaranteed a play-off place.

Bottom club Brechin City, without a win all season, had their relegation to League One confirmed on 24 March. Ninth-placed Dumbarton will enter a play-off with three League One sides.


The champions will be promoted to the Championship, while teams finishing second, third and fourth will enter a play-off with the ninth-placed Championship team.

The title is between Ayr United and Raith Rovers, who are both assured of at least a play-off place. Arbroath and Alloa have filled the other two play-off places.

The bottom club will be relegated to League Two, while the ninth-placed team will enter a play-off with three League Two sides. These two slots will be occupied by Queen's Park and Albion Rovers, who are level on points with two games left.


The champions will be promoted to League One, while teams finishing second, third and fourth will enter a play-off with the ninth-placed League One team.

The title is between Montrose and Peterhead, who are both assured of at least a play-off place. Stirling Albion and Stenhousemuir are close to making sure of the other play-off places.

Bottom club Cowdenbeath will enter a play-off against the winner of a two-legged play-off (on 28 April and 1 May) between Highland League champions Cove Rangers and Lowland League champions Spartans. The winners of that game will meet Cowdenbeath over two legs (on 5 and 12 May) for the final place in next season's League Two.

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