Premier League and Football League: Ups & downs and European qualification

Hartlepool players look dejected after relegation
Hartlepool's 96-year stay in the Football League was ended by a last-minute goal for rivals Newport

BBC Sport outlines the battles for promotion and relegation - and the race for European qualification - in England and Scotland.


29 May - Huddersfield promoted to Premier League
28 May - Blackpool promoted to League One
28 May -Hamilton Academical retain Scottish Premiership status
20 May - Millwall promoted to Championship
20 May - Inverness Caledonian Thistle relegated to Scottish Championship
20 May - Brechin City promoted to Scottish Championship
20 May - Peterhead relegated to Scottish League Two
20 May - Forfar promoted to Scottish League One
14 May - Hull relegated to Championship
14 May - Forest Green Rovers promoted to League Two


Chelsea celebrate after lifting Premier League trophy

Chelsea clinched the Premier League title on 12 May with a 1-0 win at West Bromwich Albion and have qualified for next season's Champions League group stage along with runners-up Tottenham Hotspur, third-placed Manchester City and Europa League winners Manchester United. Fourth-placed Liverpool will enter in the play-off round.

Fifth-placed Arsenal will enter the Europa League at the group stage, with seventh-placed Everton entering at the third qualifying round.

All of the top seven qualify for Europe as they include FA Cup winners Arsenal and EFL Cup winners Manchester United.

United - who finished sixth - were assured of at least a Europa League place by winning the EFL Cup. However, their qualification for the Champions League means there will be only two Europa League entrants from England. There are no longer any Fair Play places allocated to the Europa League.

Sunderland were relegated to the Championship following their defeat at home to Bournemouth on 29 April, while north-east rivals Middlesbrough went down after their 3-0 defeat by Chelsea on 8 May. Hull City filled the final relegation place after they lost 4-0 at Crystal Palace on 14 May.


Newcastle United with the Championship trophy
Newcastle were promoted a week after Brighton, but pipped them to the title on the final day of the season

Brighton and Hove Albion were promoted to the Premier League after they beat Wigan 2-1 on 17 April. Newcastle United clinched the second automatic place with a 4-1 win over Preston on 24 April and were crowned champions on the final day of the season. Huddersfield Town claimed the final promotion spot by beating Reading 4-3 on penalties in the play-off final at Wembley on 29 May.

Rotherham United were the first English team to be relegated when they lost 1-0 to Fulham on 1 April. Wigan Athletic joined them via a 1-0 defeat by Reading on 29 April, and Blackburn Rovers were relegated on the final day of the season, despite beating Brentford 3-1.


Sheffield United celebrate promotion
The Blades have ended a six-year absence from the Championship

Sheffield United were promoted on 8 April as they won 2-1 at Northampton and clinched the title a week later when second-placed Bolton lost 1-0 to Oldham. They will be joined in the Championship by Bolton Wanderers, who sealed promotion by beating Peterborough on the final day of the season, and Millwall who beat Bradford 1-0 in the play-off final on 20 May.

Coventry City were relegated to the fourth tier of English football for the first time in 58 years after drawing with Charlton on 14 April, while Chesterfield's relegation was confirmed on 17 April after they lost 3-1 to Scunthorpe. Swindon Town were relegated on 22 April with a 2-1 home defeat by Scunthorpe. The final relegation place was filled by Port Vale after they failed to beat Fleetwood on the last day.


Portsmouth fans celebrate winning the title
Portsmouth clinched the League Two title, having started the final day of the season in third place

Doncaster Rovers clinched promotion to League One on 8 April as they beat Mansfield 1-0. Plymouth Argyle and Portsmouth secured promotion on 17 April as Argyle beat Newport County 6-1 while Pompey won 3-1 at Notts County. All three promoted teams had a chance of winning the title on the final day - but Portsmouth won it by beating Cheltenham 6-1.Blackpool took the final promotion spot when they beat Exeter City 2-1 in the play-off final at Wembley on 28 May.

Bottom club Leyton Orient were relegated to the National League on 22 April after losing 3-1 to Crewe, and Hartlepool United joined them on the final day after they beat Doncaster 2-1 but fellow strugglers Newport won 2-1 against Notts County.


Lincoln celebrate
Lincoln built on their FA Cup success by winning promotion back to the Football League after six years away

Lincoln City were promoted to League Two as National League champions on 22 April after beating Macclesfield 2-1, while Forest Green Rovers were promoted after beating Tranmere 3-1 in the play-off final on 14 May.

The bottom four teams are relegated. Southport went down on 14 April after losing 3-0 at Dover, while North Ferriby United were relegated on 17 April after a 3-1 defeat at Barrow. They were joined on the final day of the season by Braintree Town, who lost 2-0 at Aldershot, and York City who could only draw 2-2 with Forest Green.

The relegated clubs will be replaced by National League North champions AFC Fylde and play-off winners FC Halifax Town, and National League South champions Maidenhead United and play-off winners Ebbsfleet United.


Celtic share Scottish title joy with fans

Celtic clinched their sixth successive Scottish title on 2 April when they beat Hearts 5-0. They will enter next season's Champions League at the second qualifying round.

Because Celtic and Aberdeen contested the Scottish Cup final, and both have qualified for Europe via their league position, the fourth-placed team will join the second and third-placed sides in the Europa League. Runners-up Aberdeen are set to enter at the second qualifying round, with Rangers and St Johnstone in the first qualifying round.

Bottom side Inverness Caledonian Thistle were relegated to the Scottish Championship despite winning their final game.

Hamilton Academical, who finished 11th in the Premiership, beat Championship play-off winner Dundee United 1-0 on aggregate (after a goalless first leg) to retain their top-flight status.


Hibernian skipper David Gray celebrates scoring against Queen of the South
Hibs clinched promotion with three games to spare

Hibernian were promoted to the Premiership as champions by beating Queen of the South 3-0 on 15 April.

Dundee United (having beaten Morton and Falkirk in the play-offs) lost 1-0 on aggregate (after a goalless first leg) to Premiership side Hamilton. The result ensured Dundee United would remain in the second tier.

Bottom club Ayr United are relegated to League One after losing their final game 2-1 while Raith Rovers went down on 13 May after losing a relegation play-off semi-final to League One side Brechin on penalties.


Scott Pittman and Jackson Longridge
Scott Pittman and Jackson Longridge scored as Livingston wrapped up the League One title

Livingston were promoted to the Championship as League One champions on 8 April after beating Alloa 2-1. Brechin City joined them on 20 May after beating Alloa Athletic on penalties in the play-off final.

Bottom club Stenhousemuir are relegated to League Two after they could only draw 1-1 with Brechin on the final day. Ninth-placed Peterhead joined them on 20 May after losing to Forfar in the play-off final.


Arbroath celebrate winning Scottish League Two
Arbroath pipped Forfar to the League Two title

Arbroath were promoted as champions on the final day of the season after a 1-1 draw at Stirling Albion. Forfar Athletic joined them on 20 May after beating League One side Peterhead 7-2 on aggregate in the play-off final.

Bottom side Cowdenbeath beat Lowland League champions East Kilbride on penalties in their play-off final to retain their SPFL status for 2017-18.

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