Is it time to split apart the Top 6 leagues in UEFA from the rest?

Discussion in 'UEFA and Europe' started by iggymcfly, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. iggymcfly

    iggymcfly Member

    Jun 20, 2014
    Right now, the group stage of the Champions League has turned into an absolute joke. The big clubs know they're fighting for seeding while the small clubs are fighting to make the Europa League and it's only a small number in between actually in question whether they'll advance or not. Even worse, the differences between the teams are so stark that most of the matches on the last matchday are actually dead rubbers.

    This year, 12 teams from outside the Top 6 nations qualified for the Champions League. Of those 12 teams, 11 are already eliminated with one matchday to go! Yes, that's right only one team out of 12 even made it to the last matchday with a chance to advance, Besiktas, who currently sits 3rd in their group. Here's the breakdown of minnow league teams by opponent:

    Minnow league teams vs. Top 4: 1-7-26
    Minnow league teams vs. 5 and 6: 0-4-8
    Minnow league teams overall: 1-11-34

    That's right, teams from leagues ranked 7 or lower played 46 matches against teams from the top 6 leagues and they won ONE. ONE!

    Obviously, something needs to change. I say, why not split them up? Let the Europa League be for only teams from the smaller leagues. Get rid of teams like Manchester United and Inter Milan that are just playing B teams throughout the group stage anyway, half hoping to get eliminated so they can focus on their leagues, and instead include teams like Celtic, Club Brugge, and Dinamo Zagreb who could put up a good fight there and would be very proud to be in the competition who instead don't get a chance in the Europa League after getting blown out in the CL group stage and finishing bottom. I think this plan would greatly increase the prestige of the Europa League as it would be all about proud clubs who cared trying to win it, rather than big clubs just hoping not to get "embarrassed" with their B squad against a smaller team's A squad.

    As for the Champions League, instead of keeping it at 32 teams and letting in a bunch of teams who failed in their league campaigns, I'd cut the group stage down to 16 teams. Put the teams who finish lower into a new cup with a straight KO format. Call it the Continental Cup or something. If only the Top 3 teams from each of the Top 4 leagues made it in plus the champions of France and Portugal, the CL winner, and the Continental Cup winner, what an exciting competition we'd have! Imagine groups like this:

    Group A
    Real Madrid
    Benfica
    Napoli
    Arsenal

    Group B
    Barcelona
    PSG
    Borussia Dortmund
    Sevilla (Continental Cup winner's spot for winning Europa League)

    Group C
    Bayern Munich
    Atletico Madrid
    Tottenham Hotspur
    Roma

    Group D
    Juventus
    Leicester City
    Bayer Leverkeusen
    Villarreal (4th team allocated to Spain for Spain winning CL)

    Now tell me those groups wouldn't be must-see TV on Tuesdays and Wednesdays! No team will be able to cruise through to safety, and every team will feel like they at least have some chance of advancing before it starts. Just seems like a much better solution than turning the champions of every smaller league into cannon fodder in a competition they can't possibly win, and then having the competition proper start in the knockout stages.
     
  2. iggymcfly

    iggymcfly Member

    Jun 20, 2014
    Now obviously, it doesn't have to go down exactly this way. Maybe you have a 24-team group stage with 6-team groups for the Champions League. Maybe the Europa League winner gets one berth into the Champions League so that the small countries technically still have a chance to gain the big crown. Maybe you call the small nations cup the Champions League instead of the Europa League, and then call the big competition the European Cup. There are a lot of ways you can go with this. I just think its clear that the current system of "throw 12 horribly overmatched minnow teams into a lengthy group stage with the best teams in Europe and watch them get throttled to cash a paycheck" isn't working.
     
  3. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

    Manchester United
    United States
    Mar 30, 2004
    Nassau County, NY
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Country:
    United States
    1. I dispute the statement that "get rid of teams like Manchester United and Inter Milan that are just playing B teams throughout the group stage anyway." In their last Europa League game, ten of Manchester United's starters were normal starters or players who may not be starters anymore but have plenty of experience like Rooney. The exception was Romero in goal instead of de Gea.

    2. As a fan of Israeli clubs, I know before the qualifying rounds start that none of them will reach the Champions League Round of 16, but I still have hope that the Israeli champion can beat other champions to reach the pretigious Group Stage and get to play the top clubs. I also like seeing how champions do against each other, which sometimes produces surprises like F91 Dudelange of Luxembourg eliminating Red Bull Salzburg of Austria in 2012-2013.
     
    Boloni86 repped this.
  4. BocaFan

    BocaFan Member+

    Aug 18, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    The solution to that is invite all countries in UEFA to the CL but have a knockout stage to widdle the # of teams from 32 down to 16, then have a group stage involving 16 teams. As the OP suggests, its crazy to have so many dead-rubber matches in a top cup competition. Israeli teams would still have a chance, albeit a smaller one, to make the group-stage. And of course the losers of the R32 knockout stage would go to the Europa League so Israeli teams would still have that chance to play a bunch of European matches.
     
  5. toronto_soccer

    toronto_soccer Member+

    Mar 21, 2006
    Toronto
    Club:
    Toronto FC
    Country:
    Italy
    Or they could finally go ahead with their own super league that's been rumored for so long. The domestic leagues are just as ridiculous as the CL.
     
    It's called FOOTBALL repped this.
  6. iggymcfly

    iggymcfly Member

    Jun 20, 2014
    I had actually thought of this as well, and I agree that if UEFA doesn't want to go ahead with the major step of splitting up or basically shutting the smaller teams out that the knockout stage at 32 and group stage at 16 is a much better solution. At least there would be a little intrigue in watching a horribly overmatched team try to get lucky over 2 games as opposed to over 6 games where they have no chance, and by the time you got to a 16-team group stage so many smaller teams would be eliminated that the group stage would be much, much more competitive.
     
  7. Gibraldo

    Gibraldo Member

    Nov 17, 2005
    Pfaffenhofen / Ilm
    Club:
    FK Crvena Zvezda Beograd
    Country:
    Serbia
    your proposal would manifest the gap between to 6 leagues and the rest forever and i think we should go the opposite way.

    1. is to allow federations to have multinational league. examples: balkan league, scandinavian league, scottish, irish league, benelux league. those winners have a fix spot and an playoff spot to the cl. finally, more competitive leagues are created. more money circulates there and youngsters are not bought and bench by mediocre top league teams.

    2. no automatic qualifying: it is ridiculous that some runner up of a cl has a fix spot and a champ of a mediocre league must face qualification. it is like giving mercedes top ten grid positions for a gp without qualification. for smaller champs, those matches against man utd, barca, real or bayern will bring in big money and they can invest into their team and consequemtly their own league.

    Gesendet von meinem SM-G935F mit Tapatalk
     
    Boloni86 and toronto_soccer repped this.
  8. It's called FOOTBALL

    It's called FOOTBALL BigSoccer Yellow Card

    May 4, 2009
    There will never be a 16-team group stage in the CL. Purists are a minority, the majority prefer KO rounds.

    I think the CL will stay the same forever, but if it were to help minnows or eliminate minnows entirely, I think it's be more likely to do what OP suggests. A lot of people hate minnows and don't want to see them on their screen.

    I don't care either way, they can do OP's suggestion, or the Superleague, or give minnows a chance. I'll watch either way.
     
  9. goliath74

    goliath74 Member

    May 24, 2006
    Hollywood, FL, United States
    Club:
    FC Dynamo Kyiv
    Country:
    Ukraine
    In 2015-2016, Dynamo Kyiv reached the round of 16. Don't tell me they don't belong.
     
  10. iggymcfly

    iggymcfly Member

    Jun 20, 2014
    I'm all for combining some of the smaller leagues, but this is like trying to combat rising ocean levels by scooping out water a cupful at a time. There's currently not one world Top 32 team outside the Top 6 leagues. Combine all the Scandinavian leagues, and you'll have one league that's still weaker than the Russian league. Combine the best teams in Scotland and Ireland, and you're just adding a couple Irish teams who won't possibly compete to the Scottish league. BeNe league is the only one with any potential at making a reasonable improvement, and even so Ajax and PSV will be the only teams stronger than the relegation fodder in the Premier League. If the BeNe league goes well, they might be able to keep pace with the bottom Premier League teams as their new TV deal hits, but they're certainly not gaining ground.

    And are you really going to try to tell me that it's ridiculous that the second place teams from the major leagues qualified when those 4 teams combined for 14 wins and 1 loss in the group stage compared to 2 wins and 34 losses for the minnow champs? If the minnow champs had to actually qualify against teams from big 6 leagues against each other, the number that made the CL group stage would be 2 or 3 instead of 12. Seriously, I really can't understand how people look at this epic failure, and say the solution is to give more spots to the hopeless losers, and make the undefeatable juggernauts "qualify". It's nonsense.
     
  11. toronto_soccer

    toronto_soccer Member+

    Mar 21, 2006
    Toronto
    Club:
    Toronto FC
    Country:
    Italy
    UEFA wide salary cap. Fixes everything.
     
    Insigne4BalonD'or repped this.
  12. iggymcfly

    iggymcfly Member

    Jun 20, 2014
    Here are Dynamo's results against teams from the Top 6 leagues in the CL the last decade:

    L 1-5 @ Real Madrid
    L 0-3 @ Lyon
    L 0-1 vs. Lyon
    D 2-2 vs. Real Madrid
    L 0-2 @ Roma
    L 1-2 vs. Sporting
    L 2-4 vs. Manchester United
    L 0-4 @ Manchester United
    L 1-4 vs. Roma
    L 0-3 @ Sporting
    L 0-2 @ Barcelona
    D 2-2 @ Inter Milan
    L 1-2 vs. Inter Milan
    L 1-2 vs. Barcelona
    D 2-2 vs. Porto
    D 0-0 vs. Chelsea
    L 1-2 @ Chelsea
    W 2-0 @ Porto
    L 1-3 vs. Manchester City
    D 0-0 @ Manchester City
    L 1-2 vs. Napoli
    L 0-2 vs. Benfica
    L 0-1 @ Benfica
    D 0-0 @ Napoli

    That's a total of 1 win, 6 draws, and 17 losses. And you're the success story who lucked into a R16 berth! 1 win against 17 losses! No, you obviously don't belong competing with the big boys from the top leagues. That's OK though! Why not just compete for a title you can actually win, and try to be the champions of the rest of Europe? Shoot for a final against Ajax or Celtic or CSKA Moscow instead of just hoping to sneak into the R16 once in a blue moon as you get pummeled mercilessly.
     
  13. iggymcfly

    iggymcfly Member

    Jun 20, 2014
    Patently illegal under the laws of almost every country in UEFA.
     
  14. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

    Manchester United
    United States
    Mar 30, 2004
    Nassau County, NY
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Country:
    United States
    The UEFA club coefficients for 2012-2013 through 2016-2017 so far have six clubs from outside the Top 6 leagues. They are Zenit St. Petersburg, Shakhtar Donetsk, Basel, Dynamo Kyiv, Olympiakos Piraeus, and Galatasaray. I'm not saying I agree or disagree with those rankings, but they're what UEFA uses.
     
  15. iggymcfly

    iggymcfly Member

    Jun 20, 2014
    Yeah, they get credit for regularly making the Champions League since their path is so much easier, but they're nowhere near as good as teams like Monaco, Gladbach, Roma, Inter, Everton, and Southampton from outside the Top 32 in club coefficient. A while back, I went through teams by transfermarkt value to see if any of the smaller leagues had a team in the Top 32 by that measure and they did not.
     
  16. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

    Manchester United
    United States
    Mar 30, 2004
    Nassau County, NY
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Country:
    United States
    Inter Milan and Everton have been great at times, but Inter Milan finished last in their Europa League group and Everton was 11th in the last two Premier League seasons. I think some of the clubs I named are better than Inter Milan and Everton now.
     
  17. iggymcfly

    iggymcfly Member

    Jun 20, 2014
    Everton's miles better than any team outside the Top 6 leagues. Not one of them would finish in the top half of the Premier League. If you grade the top teams on their Europa League performance, it will under-represent their talent since a lot of top teams don't take the competition seriously. You get a much better picture from Champions League performance. Look at Leicester City. Started out their Champions League group with 4 wins and a draw in 5 games before clinching 1st place in the group. Meanwhile, in the Premier League this year, they have 3 wins in 14 games and currently sit 16th. The average mid-table Premier League team could make it through group stage in the CL pretty easily if they were getting drawn with teams from smaller leagues like Leicester did.
     
  18. shizzle787

    shizzle787 Member

    Apr 27, 2015
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Country:
    United States
    Simple answer. No. Portugal has fallen to 7th to begin with. Secondly, there are a few competitive teams outside the top 6 leagues: Shakhtar, Olympiacos, Basel, Galatasaray, Besiktas, Ajax, Feyenoord, PSV, Club Brugge, etc.
     
  19. iggymcfly

    iggymcfly Member

    Jun 20, 2014
    Basel who went 0-4 against teams from Top 6 leagues this season getting outscored 11-2 over 4 games? PSV Eindhoven who went 0-4 getting outscored 9-2? Club Brugge who went 0-4 getting outscored 8-2? That's 12 losses without even a draw for 3 of your shining star super-competitive teams. Besiktas was the only team who had any success this year, and even they finished 3rd out of 4 teams in an easy group, beating out only Dynamo Kyiv. If you actually look at results, you'd see all those teams have been horribly uncompetitive.

    FCS teams are much more competitive with FBS teams in American college football than teams from outside the Top 6 leagues compete in UEFA and the division works much better for them than if they had to beat out Alabama and Ohio State to win a trophy.
     
  20. shizzle787

    shizzle787 Member

    Apr 27, 2015
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Country:
    United States
    One year. There were 11 different countries represented in the Round of 16 last year. As far as college football, 90%+ of FCS/FBS games end with the FBS team winning in a spanking. Middle-size countries do MUCH better than FCS teams against their respective superior opponents.
     
  21. toronto_soccer

    toronto_soccer Member+

    Mar 21, 2006
    Toronto
    Club:
    Toronto FC
    Country:
    Italy
    The money for the small teams competing in the CL is immense for them. Plus it gives their fans a chance to see some big teams come to their town. I don't see UEFA changing anything anytime soon.
     
    Boloni86 and It's called FOOTBALL repped this.
  22. What would you have posted last season? It doesnot help your case to come up with cherry picked results! As you should know results fluctuate with bad luck( if PSV just scored the penalties given in the CL, their results would be quite different) and injuries.
     
  23. Unless they want to blow up the UEFA itself completely. What's the use for UEFA in that scenarion?
     
  24. So...why are the EPL teams the beaten up teams ( and I mean thereal top teams, not Leicester) in the last 5, 6 years of CL competition? Cherry picking one season to prove your point, while looking at the longer period a different picture emerges.
     
    Gio-13 and It's called FOOTBALL repped this.
  25. It's called FOOTBALL

    It's called FOOTBALL BigSoccer Yellow Card

    May 4, 2009
    Threads like these is why people are

    [​IMG]

    Dumb elitist attitude by OP.
     
    toronto_soccer repped this.

Share This Page