European coefficients

Relatively important game for Scotland tonight as Aberdeen take on Dnipro.

At the moment Scotland are ranked as the 11th best league in Europe and Ukraine are in 13th. The crucial places from Scotland’s perspective are:
9th - guarantees that the winners are in the CL group stages
10th - winners likely to be in CL group stages (if CL winners also qualify for groups automatically - not the case this season)
15th - two CL places

Taking into account results so far this season Ukraine have moved above Scotland to 10th but a win (unlikely) for Aberdeen over the Ukranians would be a great boost for Scotland’s chances of getting 10th place. (Also a win for Everton over Metalist would be helpful as Dunfermline - Scotland’s other UEFA Cup representative are already out).

So far this year Ukraine are on 3.625 points while Scotland are on 3.25

Good outcome for Scotland last night. Kyiv beaten 1-2 at home to Sporting Club and the Scottish runners up getting a win on the road. If Aberdeen get anything in Dnipro we’ll be back in the driving seat for 10th I think.

Aberdeen are one up at half time away to Dnipro. That’s a smashing scoreline for them and if they can hold on it would be a cracking result for the coefficient as well because it’s against a Ukrainian side.

Great result for Aberdeen tonight. They drew 1-1 in the end. The last twenty minutes or so they were under pressure and they struggled to retain the ball. Mackie gave them the lead in the first half with a powerful header following a great cross by Foster who was excellent all night. Aberdeen’s goalkeeper Langfield and Diamond also had very good games. Despite the pressure they came under Dnirpo never carved Aberdeen open and the goal they got was extremely fortunate. That puts Aberdeen into the group stages now where I’d imagine they can expect a tough draw.

funny if everton lose to metalist

Dnipro and Metalist are now out thanks to Everton and Aberdeen.

So Scottish coefficient this season is now:

Rangers:
3 qualifying round wins = 31 = 3 points
1 qualifying round draw = 1
0.5 = 0.5 points
2 CL group wins = 2*2 = 4 points
1 qualification for group stages = 3 points
Total 10.5 points

Celtic:
2 Qualifying round draws = 20.5 = 1 point
1 CL group win = 1
2 = 2 points
1 qualification for group stages = 3 points
Total 6 points

Aberdeen
2 UEFA Cup draws = 2*1 = 2 points

Dunfermline
1 UEFA Cup qualifying round draw = 0.5 points

Scottish Total = 19 points
Average = 19/4 = 4.75

Couldn’t be arsed typing out the whole Ukrainian scores but they have:
Shakhtar 10
Dinamo Kiev 5
Dnipro 3.5
Metalist 1

Ukrainian Total 19.5
Average = 4.875

Significantly though the Ukrainians only have 2 teams left in Europe while Scotland have 3. Aberdeen are now into the group stages of the UEFA Cup which will give them a chance to pick up a couple of points while Dnipro at least would certainly have expected to continue to contribute to the coefficient.

Some sense from UEFA as the below article suggests Platini has abandoned his cup winners idea.

Platini abandons cup winners plan

Three teams from the [English] Premier League are set to qualify automatically for the Champions League after UEFA agreed to drop proposals for domestic cup winners to qualify for the tournament.

UEFA president Michel Platini is understood to have agreed to drop the domestic cup plan in return for securing a deal where from 2009 six spots in the group stage are reserved for league champions from the bottom 40 countries in Europe.

Last week it was revealed that Platini was facing defeat on the domestic cup plan after he failed to get support from the five big football associations.

UEFAs strategy council, made up of representatives from UEFA, the leagues, the clubs and the players, agreed to the compromise which will now go to UEFAs executive committee on December 1 for a final decision.

The effect of the change means the fourth-placed side in England will play two qualification rounds instead of one.

The champions of Europes leading 12 countries, currently including Scotland, will also be guaranteed a place in the group phase.

The six group places reserved for the champions of the 40 lowest leagues among UEFAs 53 member associations will be decided by three qualifying rounds.

A spin-off of todays decision is that a new organisation for clubs is likely to be formed that is completely separate from G14, the group of 18 clubs from among Europes elite, which is expected to be disbanded.

Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon is one of the clubs representatives on UEFAs strategy council and is expected to play a leading role in a new clubs organisation.

The guarantee of group stages places for the top 12 countries is a good idea too and helps Scotland out. Scotland is ranked 10th for 2007 (fecked over by Milan not finishing in the top 2 in Serie a last year), and stand 11th at the moment for next season (behind Ukraine but still in with a chance of catching them). For 2009 Scotland are provisionally ranked in 12th (with a season and a half of points still to play for) but with little enough competition from the places behind with Switzerland in 13th and Belgium in 14th. Greece look a bigger threat in 16th but they’re a full 3 points behind Scotland at the moment. They still have 6 teams involved in Europe this year (thanks to the Inter-toto) so they could make up ground.

Just reading more on this. Effectively there are more automatic places given out so it makes qualification harder from 2009 onwards.

22 automatically qualify:

tournament holder(1)

1st placed team in nations 1 to 12 (12)

2nd placed team in nations 1 to 6 (6)

3rd placed team in nations 1 to 3 (3)

Not sure how the qualification rounds will work out but it will obviously be much harder with only 10 spots available instead of 16. Places more emphasis on where you finish in your domestic league I suppose which is a good thing.

I think it’s a good idea to have more of an incentive to finish as high as possible in the various domestic leagues. It will mean there’ll be more competition in the bigger leagues rather than teams settling on finishing 4th. As regards Celtic, it simply means they’ll have to keep putting the huns in their place and winning the league. It was a difficult enough tie in the qualifying round this year having won the league in May against Spartak Moscow so there’s potential for a couple of difficult ties if Celtic finish second in the league and have to fight for 1 of 10 spots.

First part of the story below is a non-issue about Platini planning to try for cup winners in the CL again in a couple of years. There’s a whole lot of spin around this decision and there seems to be a campaign to paint the new CL proposals as a defeat for Platini.

In reality the biggest change has been the emphasis on more champions getting into the CL than can currently qualify. The qualifying rounds haven’t been properly clarified anywhere yet but from reading between the lines I think that the champions of the smaller leagues will be in a separate strand of CL qualifying to the runners up in Scotland, 4th place in England etc. That ensures more teams in the group stages are national champions but also makes qualification harder for the minor places from the major leagues which is a good thing.

Platini to resurrect cup proposals

14/11/2007 - 08:40:39

UEFA president Michel Platini remains determined to see domestic cup winners qualify for the Champions League, despite failing to garner enough support for the proposal this week.

Platini was unable to convince Europes five big football associations of the merits of his plan, which would have seen the FA Cup winners take one of the four spots currently given to the top four in the Premier League.

We can do that in three years. We can come back on that, he said.

Platini denied being forced into an embarrassing climbdown over the issue, claiming it proved he was willing to listen to the concerns of others.

He explained their fears, saying: The leagues are not in favour because they have to sell their own leagues and if they lost one of the four Champions League teams, they think they would have more problems selling their TV rights.

Platini scrapped the proposal in return for securing a deal where, from 2009, six spots in the competitions group stage are reserved for league champions from the bottom 40 countries in Europe.

My best message is to have six more champions in the Champions League, he said.

Platini also insisted the English authorities will have to work hard to convince him to back their bid to stage the 2018 World Cup.

I hope for you it will be England but at the moment I have nothing to say, he said.

You will have to convince me.

If there are two or three European countries going to bid, they all have to convince me.

Platini expressed his concern about the dangerous influx of foreign investors into the Premier League, dubbing them speculators, whose primary interest was in making money.

Money is important in football, I can understand that, he said.

But I dont want this money to be the boss of football.

Yet, Platini a legend as a player for France and Juventus has no problem with the amount of money players make as long as clubs are not spending beyond their means.

He is also not worried that the Premier League is increasingly becoming saturated with overseas talent, although he believes Englands recent international failures are a consequence of this.

Platinis real concern over foreign players surrounds clubs academy systems.

He wants to stop Arsenal and Manchester United snapping up Europes best young players while they are still teenagers.

He said: I am totally against this philosophy.

I like (Alex) Ferguson, I like Arsene Wenger theyre good friends of mine but dont like the system to pick the best players from all the youth categories in all the countries.

Its difficult for those countries.

Platini believes players need to be nurtured in their country of origin until they turn 20 or 21 and pointed out that in England there are regulations preventing clubs poaching young players from each other.

He said: I want to protect the people of 14 years old, 15 years old.

On the subject of racism, Platini acknowledged UEFAs disciplinary commission were sometimes too soft.

He revealed he was unhappy with the decision to fine Montenegrin side FK Zeta only 12,700 in September after their fans racially abused two Rangers players.

The full details of the new CL qualification proposal haven’t been totally clarified yet but the statements and comments from UEFA suggest that smaller countries’ representation in the group stages is guaranteed by having two separate qualification “tournaments.” On one side the lowest ranked teams (in league positions) from the top 8 leagues will play off against eachother for 4 places.

The other clubs (champions of smaller countries and second placed teams from the medium tier countries) play in a separate tournament for 6 places.

Seems reasonable so far but it’s all a bit uncertain.

So the proposals have been finalised:

Champions League group stages are now made up of:

22 teams qualify automatically comprising:

  • 3 from top 3 countries
  • 2 from counties ranked 4 - 6
  • 1 from countries ranked 7 - 12
  • current CL champions

Then there are two qualifying groups:

Champions:

  • Champions of countries ranked 13 - 15 go into Qualifying Round 3 where they’re joined by the champions of the other countries who have played a knockout round already (and a preliminary round for the 6 lowest ranked countries).
  • 5 places available for these teams and 10 UEFA Cup places for the losers in the final qualifying round

Best Placed:

  • 4th placed team from countries ranked 1 - 3
  • 3rd placed team from countries ranked 4 - 6
  • 2nd placed team from countries ranked 7 - 15
  • these teams compete for 5 more places with 5 losers going to UEFA Cup
  • the 4th placed team from countries ranked 1 - 3 and the third placed team from countries 4 and 5 are automatically in the final knockout round, the other 10 teams have to play a qualifying round to join them.

In non-Champions League changes:

  • Intertoto has been abolished

This is how the CL would have worked this year in the new format:

CL Group Stages:

Real Madrid
FC Barcelona
Sevilla
Internazionale
AS Roma
Lazio Roma
AC Milan
Manchester United
Chelsea
Liverpool
Olympique Lyon
Olympique Marseille
VfB Stuttgart
Schalke 04
FC Porto
Sporting CP Lisbon
PSV Eindhoven
Olympiakos Piraeus
CSKA Moscow
Dinamo Bucuresti
Celtic
Anderlecht

BEST PLACED QUALIFIERS

R2 seeded

Valencia
Arsenal
Toulouse FC
Werder Bremen
Benfica
Ajax

R1 (NOT SEEDED)

AEK Athens
Spartak Moscow
Steaua Bucuresti
Glasgow Rangers
Racing Genk
Shakhtar Donetsk
Slavia Praha
Besiktas

CHAMPIONS QUALIFYING:

R2 seeded

Dinamo Kiev
Sparta Praha
Fenerbahe

R1

FC Zrich
Levski Sofia
Beitar Jerusalem
Rosenborg BK
FC Salzburg
Red Star Belgrade
Zaglebie Lubin

FC Kbenhavn
DVSC Debrecen
Dinamo Zagreb
IF Elfsborg
MSK Zilina
APOEL Nicosia
NK Domzale
FK Sarajevo
Tampere United
FK Ventspils

Sheriff Tiraspol
Olimpi Rustavi
FBK Kaunas
Pobeda Prilep
FH Hafnarfjardar
BATE Borisov
Derry City
SK Tirana
Pyunik Yerevan
Levadia Tallinn
Marsaxlokk
The New Saints
Linfield Belfast
Khazar Lenkoran

F91 Dudelange
FK Astana
HB Torshavn

@GeoffreyBoycott

Spurs need to win for the good of English football. If Italy can make three coefficient points on England this season then the EPL will lose their fourth CL spot this season. They are currently 3.387 ahead of Italy at the minute so they should have enough to keep it this season but a Spurs defeat to Fiorentina in this round really puts it in jeopardy.

England really need to be putting a gap into it this season and Italy will go ahead of them at the start of next season unless England can put a 2 point advantage ahead this season. England are somewhat boosted by the handy draws their Europa League competitors have got. The remaining Italian and English teams in European action this season.

Champions League

Barcelona v Arsenal
Bayern v Juve
City v Kiev
Madrid v Roma
Chelsea v PSG

Hard to see Arsenal knock out Barca, Roma will be fairly big outsiders against Madrid but have a much better chance IMO.

City should take Kiev you’d expect but are in really bad form at the minute and it is no certainty at all.

Chelsea v PSG. A tough one to call, PSG will be favourites but Chelsea have come into some form.

Juve - Bayern is a 50-50 and Italy needs Juve to progress in this one and make it the semi-final stage at the very least.

Europa League

Spurs v Fiorentina
Liverpool v Augsburg
Napoli v Villarreal
Man Utd v Midtjylland
Lazio v Galatasaray

Really tough draws for the Italian teams here at this stage and really handy draws for the English teams, Spurs aside. The Spurs-Fiorentina one could be crucial.

Another subplot of next season is the teams involved, Leicester look very likely to make the CL this season, if they finish top three then they go into the group stage automatically and will be a pot 4 team making a group of death inevitable. Inter and Milan look set to return to European football this season which should boost Italy going forward as they have strong coefficients. The performances of Napoli, Fiorentina and Lazio in recent Europa League seasons will also see their individual coefficients improve.

The likelihood is Juve will be a pot 1 side next year in the CL and Napoli a pot 2 side. Roma are very much the problem child as their European performance under Garcia was inept and they had missed out for a few seasons of European football beforehand crashing out in the Europa League qualifying stages under Enrique then failing to secure European under him and Zeman.

Close of play 17th February 2016

15/16

England 10.625
Italy 10.333

Current gap Italy need to bridge:

3.387

Did last night’s outcome in Munich f*ck it up for Italy for next season?

It certainly did.

@mickee321 will be fuming when he reads this