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Ian Ladyman and Craig Hope argue Newcastle are better off WITHOUT the Europa League on It's All Kicking Off… though Chris Sutton calls their view 'scrooge-like' insisting the Magpies could have won the competition

Newcastle United are best off out of Europe altogether, Ian Ladyman and Craig Hope have argued on the latest episode of It’s All Kicking Off.  

Having been drawn in this year’s ‘Group of Death’, the Magpies finished bottom of the Champions League pile in Group F, following a 2-1 defeat to AC Milan. 

A draw against the Italian side would have ensured they played in the Europa League, but with no European football to focus on, they can put all of their efforts into ensuring they qualify for next season’s competition via the Premier League. 

Mail Sport’s football editor Ian Ladyman, and North-East football correspondent Craig Hope argued Newcastle are better off without the Europa League. However, Chris Sutton suggested the view was ‘scrooge-like,’ insisting the Magpies could have won the competition.

Ladyman said: ‘There’s no shame in finishing bottom of that group. It’s been a big ask for them.

Newcastle crashed out of Europe after finishing bottom of their Champions League group

Newcastle crashed out of Europe after finishing bottom of their Champions League group

Ian Ladyman argued Newcastle are better off without the Europa League

Chris Sutton said Ladyman's view was 'scrooge-like' and that the Magpies could have won the competition

Mail Sport’s Ian Ladyman (left) and Chris Sutton (right) argued whether Newcastle were better off without the Europa League

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‘I personally think they’re better off without the Europa League. I know it might have made them a few quid if they had gone further down the line in it.’

Sutton quickly interrupted and questioned Ladyman’s point of view, as he replied: ‘They’re better off not having the possibility of winning the Europa League? Dear me, let’s give up.’

He added: ‘Newcastle could win the Europa League Ian. They are a team, well capable of winning the Europa League. 

‘You can’t start thinking like that. That’s why you’re not a sports person.’

Ladyman defended his point as he said: ‘They could go deep in that competition and take on all the extra kind of travel and accumulate the tiredness and the injuries that come with it and end up ninth in the Premier League. And that’s no good for Newcastle.’

Hope, who was at the game on Wednesday night, said that while he saw Sutton’s ‘romantic’ point of view, the club would side with Ladyman’s ‘pragmatic’ approach.

He said: ‘I think the guys upstairs, the suits would be siding with Ladyman because for me, and I’ve said this since the start of the season, the absolute priority this year Chris, is for Newcastle to make sure they’re a Champions League club next season.

‘How you do that most realistically is by finishing in the top four rather than winning the Europa League. I think they’ve got to now concentrate on the league campaign. 

North-East correspondent Craig Hope backed Ladyman's view stating that the club will be prioritising a top-four finish to ensure their place in next season's Champions League

North-East correspondent Craig Hope backed Ladyman’s view stating that the club will be prioritising a top-four finish to ensure their place in next season’s Champions League

Newcastle are seven points off the top four and their exit - along with Manchester United's departure - from the Champions League could cost the Premier League an extra spot

Newcastle are seven points off the top four and their exit – along with Manchester United’s departure – from the Champions League could cost the Premier League an extra spot

AC Milan got the job done at St James' Park and will drop to the Europa League instead of Newcastle

AC Milan got the job done at St James’ Park and will drop to the Europa League instead of Newcastle

‘The reason I say they’ve got to be part of the Champions League next year is the money is there with Newcastle. They’ve got the richest owners in the world. 

‘The problem they’ve got is FFP and the ability to spend that money. How do you push back the guardrails of financial fair play rules? You do that by being a Champions League club season on season on season.’

Hope added that while supporters would rather see the club win their first trophy since 1955, to be winning and challenging for trophies every year it is important to be in the Champions League. 

Sutton continued to hit out at the view of Ladyman and Hope as he said: ‘It’s a Scrooge-like view this time of year. I mean, Eddie Howe’s not gonna get you in as a motivational coach, Ian, because you wouldn’t wanna be so pragmatic, you wouldn’t wanna win any trophies.’

IT’S ALL KICKING OFF! 

It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.

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The Premier League’s chances of having an extra place in the Champions League for next season’s expanded tournament is at risk, following the eliminations of Manchester United and Newcastle. 

The two countries with the highest UEFA coefficient points get a fifth team in the competition, which after the Champions League group stage would be Germany and Italy. 

It means Eddie Howe’s side could be under more pressure to finish inside the top-four – a position they are currently seven points off after 16 games this season.  

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