West Ham United are not in the Europa Conference League yet as the play-off draw and dates are already set by UEFA.
There has been much talk that West Ham had already qualified for the Europa Conference League going into the season finale at Brighton.
The Hammers could have leapfrogged Man United into sixth – and a Europa League spot – with victory over Brighton after the Red Devils lost to Palace.
But West Ham fell short and threw away a 1-0 lead to lose 3-1 and end up seventh.
It was then widely reported again that West Ham had qualified for the Europa Conference League as a result.
That is not strictly true, though.
West Ham are not in the Europa Conference League yet as the play-off draw and dates are already set by UEFA.
As reported by Hammers News earlier this month, West Ham actually face a two-legged play-off which they must win in order to qualify for the competition proper.
The play-off round features 10 teams with the draw taking place on August 1st and the first and second legs played on August 18th and 25th.
West Ham fans will remember only too well being knocked out of qualifying two years in a row by Romanian side Astra Giurgiu.
So the play-off is no foregone conclusion.
Under David Moyes West Ham fans will rightly be confident of coming through a two-legged play-off.
But we’re not quite there just yet.
The Conference League may be designed predominantly to give some minnows from vastly inferior leagues a taste of European football. But there will be some big hitters in there from the top leagues too.
Some fans might not like the idea of being in the “new InterToto” but any form of European football, given the fiercely competitive nature of the Premier League, is an achievement for West Ham.
It is also worth mentioning that should West Ham qualify for the Conference League proper, winning it guarantees Europa League qualification the following season.