London - West Ham United have qualified for next season's Europa League by
topping the Premier League's Fair Play table, the London club have
announced on Tuesday.
West Ham, who announced manager Sam
Allardyce's departure on Sunday after finishing 12th in the Premier
League, will enter the competition along with 103 other teams in the
first qualifying round on July 2.
It is the first time they have qualified for European competition since 2006.
are delighted to have won a place in the UEFA Europa League as we want
to ensure the Boleyn Ground the best send-off possible (before moving
into London's Olympic Stadium in 2016-17), and progress in this
competition will certainly help with that," said joint-chairmen David
Sullivan and David Gold in a statement.
"Starting in early July
will bring its challenges, but everyone at the club, from the board to
the players and supporters, will be relishing the opportunity to feature
on the European stage. It should be a fantastic experience."
Ham will learn their opponents for the first qualifying round when the
draw is made on June 22 and will have to get through four qualifying
rounds if they are to reach the tournament's group phase.
are ranked second in European governing body UEFA's Respect Fair Play
ranking, which means they receive an extra berth for the Europa League.