Birmingham free to play in Europa League

Birmingham City will be allowed to play in the Europa League next season after being granted a licence by Uefa.

There were concerns the club's financial situation might prevent them from competing in the tournament.

But in April owner Carson Yeung injected an extra £4m to quell "unfounded rumours", despite revealing debts of £27.7m.

The club qualified for the Europa League in February by beating Arsenal 2-1 in the Carling Cup final.

Acting chairman Peter Pannu told the official Blues website: "This means we can all focus on what are really exciting times for the club.

"We have three important Premier League games remaining and we can take this good news into them, starting at Newcastle on Saturday.

"Then we can all look forward to competing in the Europa League alongside some of the continent's finest clubs.

"Being granted the licence - which we were always confident of achieving - will put to rest once and for all some of the scaremongering that has surrounded the club."