West Ham will compete in the UEFA Europa League next season, thanks to their placing in the Premier League fair play rankings.
The London club had looked European contenders in the first half of the season, but tailed off to finish 12th – with Sam Allardyce’s departure confirmed moments after the final whistle of their season-ending defeat at Newcastle United.
Allardyce’s replacement will have to prepare fast, with West Ham’s entry into the Europa League’s first qualifying round meaning their 2015-16 season will begin just 39 days after 2014-15 ended.
“We 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, and progress in this competition will certainly help with that,” a statement from joint-chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold read.
“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.”
West Ham finished second in the fair play table, behind Liverpool, but the Anfield club’s sixth-place finish in the league had already secured a spot in the Europa League.