Tottenham Hotspur: How a Top-4 Finish Would Change Life at White Hart Lane

Frank WagnerCorrespondent IApril 16, 2013

SWANSEA, WALES - MARCH 30:  Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham celebrates with team-mates after scoring their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Tottenham Hotspur at Liberty Stadium on March 30, 2013 in Swansea, Wales.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
Christopher Lee/Getty Images

With six matches remaining in their Premier League season, Tottenham find themselves in a dog-fight for a place in the league's top four.

For Spurs, the club's path over the next few seasons hinges on this race. In short, a top-four finish would pave the way for the club's ascendancy at White Hart Lane while a lower finish could usher in a rebuilding process.

The key factor that makes this race so important for the north London club is, quite clearly, the promise of Champions League football.

In the hierarchy of European football, the Champions League is the top competition, pitting the best clubs from the continent against each other in a season-long battle for supremacy.

For every club, the only path to qualification for this top competition goes through their domestic league. In England, this means the only way in which one can qualify is to finish in the top four of the Premier League.

Hence, the difference between finishing in fourth and fifth is playing or not playing in the Champions League.

So why is that so important for a club, let alone for Tottenham, in particular?

For one thing, there is the money that comes with this competition.

Getting at least a few matches in this cash cow would be invaluable for any club, let alone a club like Tottenham that has spent less money than other big clubs over the past few seasons.

Even more importantly, though, qualification for the Champions League would offer the club's players the opportunity to shine on the grandest stage.

Thus, a top-four finish would give Tottenham the allure of a top club as they enter the summer transfer window. Further, with superstars like Gareth Bale already being tempted by moves away from White Hart Lane, a spot in the biggest competition in Europe could give the Spurs' top players reason to stay.

On the other hand, a finish outside of the top four could spell the end of Bale's career at Tottenham and kill the club's chances at signing other top players this summer.

Clearly, a lot is riding on the Spurs' ability to finish the season strongly and end up in the Premier League's top four.

Over the past few weeks, these hopes have taken some hits after a few sub-par performances, Gareth Bale getting injured and the club dropping from the top four for the first time since Boxing Day.

However, with only a point separating Spurs from third, there is still a very good opportunity for Tottenham to achieve their goals this season and book their place in next season's Champions League.

A lot rides on these final six matches.