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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 May, 2005, 12:08 GMT 13:08 UK
Uefa leaves Liverpool 'door open'
Uefa president Lennart Johansson
Uefa president Lennart Johansson has said five English teams could compete in next season's Champions League.

Johansson told Five Live's Sportsweek programme Liverpool could enter if they win the tournament but finish outside the top four in the Premiership.

"If there is a possibility to make an exception for the winner of the Champions League then there could be an additional place," said Johansson.

"The door is always open. We are there to serve football, not just dictate."

Uefa has previously insisted their rules are clear, that only four teams from any one country can go forward to play in the Champions League.

With Everton set to clinch the coveted fourth spot, and with Liverpool still in with a chance of lifting the Champions League trophy, Uefa has told the Football Association to decide who should join Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United in next season's tournament.

However, Johansson has potentially smoothed the waters and says his organisation will deal with any request as and when they receive it.

"Liverpool are welcome with their point of view. They can make any proposal and we will deal with it and we will give them a quick answer," he added.

"It is for the executive committee to decide and anything can be granted if they decide to go to the member associations and ask for a change in the regulations.

"But it would be unfair on Everton who have played the whole season and qualified via fourth place to then exclude them."

Johansson, though, has stated there will be a tightening of the rules for next season to ensure such an eventuality can be adequately dealt with in the future.

"We will make it more clear than we have before as to what is valid because it will happen again and again," he said.

"In my opinion the rule is already there, but if there are exceptions to the rule then we have to clarify the situation and make a clear statement about it."


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