MON gives verdict on Premier League play-off plan
By Villa reporter
Tuesday 16 Feb 2010 21:39:00
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Martin O’Neill has given qualified backing to the idea of allowing the sides finishing fourth to seventh in the Premier League the chnce to play off for England’s final Champions League spot.

Villa, of course, are the sort of team who could benefit from the proposal, given that they have been close to fourth place in recent times without actually finishing in it. But O’Neill has questioned where the extra games would fit into the football camendar..

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O’Neill told the Express and Star: ‘I only heard about it yesterday and gave it a wee bit of thought last night. It's quite interesting. I wouldn't knock it immediately, particularly if we finish seventh in the league!

‘I know the team who finished fourth would be galled if that was the case, but if you knew the rules in advance at the start of the season then you know the parameters.

‘The Premier League seems rather glamorous, but it's a constant struggle. You always feel as though relegation is haunting you. You want to get into the middle section of the table and then at the end of the season there could still be a charge for this spot.

‘It would be interesting to see what all the Premier League clubs thought about it, because there has to be 14 in agreement. Outside the top sides I think people might go for it.

‘I have to say there is definitely that element of 'where do you fit it in?’ But the prize is so big, you're talking about a Champions League qualifying game in August.

‘The play-offs have become a massive thing now. I've experienced it myself. If you could guarantee me getting promotion through the play-offs, then I would take it every time.’

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