Tottenham Hotspurs will not be allowed to enter next season’s Champions League if they finish fourth in the Premiership and their rivals Arsenal win this season’s competition.

“I am afraid I have to tell Spurs that there is no alternative,” Lars-Christer Olsson told Reuters.

Spurs are currently fourth in the Premier League, a position that usually guarantees qualification for the Champions League. However, should Arsenal beat Barcelona in the final in Paris on May 17, they earn a spot in the Champions League at the expense of Tottenham.

With one game left, Spurs are four points ahead of fifth-placed Arsenal who have two games remaining.

The rule was introduced after Liverpool won last season’s Champions League, while local rivals Everton finished fourth in the Premier League ahead of Liverpool.

UEFA ruled then that both clubs could enter Europe’s top competition, but ruled that there would be no repeat and only four English sides would be allowed in next season’s competition.

“This time around we are prepared. We have put the rules in place and those rules will stand,” Olsson said.

“Of course on the pitch, Spurs will feel hard done by and it is a difficult decision, but England will only have four teams and Arsenal will be invited back if they are champions.”

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