Manchester City have been awarded a 'Fair Play' place in next season's UEFA Cup, the English Premier League announced on Friday.

England received an extra berth in the competition for topping the Europe-wide Fair Play league and although City only finished sixth in the domestic version, all the sides above them had already qualified for European competition in the 2008/09 campaign.

City were left sweating over the spot after captain Richard Dunne was sent off in their final league game of the season, a humiliating 8-1 defeat by Middlesbrough.

However, once the final count had been done it was revealed that they had held off Fulham and they will now enter the competition at the first qualifying round stage in July.

Ironically, City's failure to qualify for Europe through the normal avenues is one of the reasons that club owner Thaksin Shinawatra is expected to sack manager Sven-Goran Eriksson once he has lined up a suitable replacement.