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Liverpool to reject fair-play place into Europa League due to pre-season tour


CumbrianRam

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Liverpool will reject the chance to qualify for Europe through the back door after committing to a lucrative pre-season tour of the Southern Hemisphere.

Liverpool have the second best disciplinary record in the Barclays Premier League, but they are expected to qualify for the Europa League via UEFA’s Fair Play League because Arsenal, who have the best disciplinary record, are odds on to be in Europe anyway.

England are fourth in the Fair Play League behind Norway, Sweden and Finland. Three teams qualify through the league.

Liverpool have received 51 yellow cards and two red cards. The 10-match ban Luis Suarez received for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic last month does not count against them because it was retrospective action, which is not considered.

However, teams making the Europa League via that method start out in the first week of July, with the second qualifying round on July 18 and July 25, and that cuts across Liverpool commitments in Indonesia and Australia.

Liverpool have never played in either of those countries and their visit has created huge interest.

The club have put a lot of energy into ensuring the tour goes smoothly and a game in Melbourne on July 24 at the iconic MCG against Melbourne Victory is already a 90,000 sell-out.

After that, Brendan Rodgers’ side will also play a lucrative game on July 29 against Thailand.

Rodgers is anxious for Liverpool to compete domestically and in Europe but he would rather do it in the conventional way.

He said: ‘We want to get into it with our performance level and it’s highly unlikely we’d get that route.’

UEFA have confirmed that, if Chelsea were to finish fifth in the Premier League and win the Europa League, the sixth-placed league team would not gain entry into Europe.

UEFA give three Europa League places to England each year. Two are already taken — by Swansea, who won the Capital One Cup, and FA Cup finalists Wigan. Rodgers thinks Liverpool may be helped next season by not having extra commitments.

‘If we have a year where we are not in it, it’s going to give us an opportunity to push on,’ he said.

‘There’s also a pride thing. You want to get in it by performing and through (your league) positions.’

Rodgers’ first foray into Europe as a manager ended in the Europa League’s round of 32 this year, when Liverpool were beaten by Zenit St Petersburg on away goals, but they played 12 games in the tournament, the first of which was in Belarus on August 2.

‘It was a long journey this year and — don’t get me wrong — we enjoyed it and we were disappointed when we came out of it, but I think down the Fair Play route it (the qualifying rounds) starts even earlier,’ said Rodgers.

‘I’d prefer to be in it by qualifying through the league or winning a trophy. If it’s not that way then we are better suited to re-aligning our focus to domestic cups and the league.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2317918/Liverpool-reject-Fair-Play-route-Europa-League.html

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I don't believe the clap trap that they are not interested in playing in Europe as they want to qualify for the tournament on merit, if there was any significant money involved in it for them the Scousers would be scrambling over themselves to get in there. Utter twaddle.

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Just excuses innit? They can't afford to go back on the commitments they've made to play overseas pre-season friendlies.

 

Sad that those games are clearly worth  more financially to them than getting dicked in the qualifying rounds of the Europa league

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I remember when Man Utd got slagged something rotten for not playing in the FA Cup in 2000 as they were due to play in the World Club Championship in South America in January and were more interested in the dosh, hope Liverpool get an equal slagging for this

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