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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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Premier League misses out on Fair Play place

England will not be given an additional place in next season's Europa League after dropping to seventh in the final Fair Play rankings published by UEFA.

Sweden, Denmark and Finland took the top three places in UEFA's final table.

Only the top three associations are awarded a place, which could be seen as a poisioned chalice with those teams having to enter in the opening qualifying round on July 1 - when the World Cup is still very much in full swing.

The news directly affects both Fulham and Burnley, who were in line to take England's place.

Fulham would have effectively been guaranteed a place in Europe next season regardless of the result in Wednesday night's Europa League final against Atletico Madrid. Victory will automatically qualify them for next season's group stage as holders. But in defeat they would have taken England's Fair Play place as the best team not to have made it into Europe by a conventional route.

A Europa League victory for Fulham would have seen the place passed on to relegated Burnley. But Tuesday's news rules that out and the Cottagers must win to continue their adventures on the continent in 2010-11.

• UEFA Respect Fair Play final rankings 2009-10

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