For some reason, I found myself looking up UEFA coefficients a couple days ago, and had some thoughts on ranking the level of play in national leagues against each other. It's pretty clear that the main difficulty is not in comparing the top teams - they play each other frequently enough that we can quite easily say how they stand against each other - but in comparing the leagues from top to bottom when we don't have many meaningful matches played between mid-table clubs. In almost every ranking system I've seen, top-heavy leagues are grossly overrated: there are teams that do fairly well in international play, but they also dominate their domestic leagues. So... given the UEFA coefficients, which have done a pretty decent job over the years of ranking the top teams in European leagues against each other, I thought it might be possible to adjust them using the domestic performance of the teams that play in European competition. I have two schemes: 1) Adjust for domestic performance relative to domestic league median point total - this gives a comparison of "mid-table" from league to league 2) Adjust for domestic performance in terms of (points earned / possible points) - this should be more of a top-to-bottom measure. I've got a pretty basic spreadsheet of my preliminary results. I've gone ahead and crunched the last two seasons' worth of UEFA data; using a weighted average of UEFA coefficients (or adjusted coefficients) for 03/04 and 02/03, where 02/03 has half the weight of 03/04, I get the following top-25 rankings: Code: UEFA Median Maximum 1 Spain Spain Spain 2 France France France 3 Italy England (+1) England (+1) 4 England Italy (-1) Italy (-1) 5 Portugal Portugal Portugal 6 Scotland Czech Republic (+1) Czech Republic (+1) 7 Czech Republic Germany (+2) Germany (+2) 8 Belgium Scotland (-2) Scotland (-2) 9 Germany Norway (+5) Turkey (+1) 10 Turkey Turkey Belgium (-2) 11 Netherlands Russia (+2) Norway (+3) 12 Greece Netherlands (-1) Netherlands (-1) 13 Russia Belgium (-5) Russia 14 Norway Poland (+1) Poland (+1) 15 Poland Greece (-3) Greece (-3) 16 Ukraine Hungary (+2) Hungary (+2) 17 Serbia & Mont. Denmark (+3) Denmark (+3) 18 Hungary Serbia & Mont. (-1) Ukraine (-2) 19 Bulgaria Ukraine (-3) Serbia & Mont. (-2) 20 Denmark Switzerland (+4) Israel (+2) 21 Romania Israel (+1) Switzerland (+3) 22 Israel Romania (-1) Austria (+3) 23 Croatia Austria (+2) Bulgaria (-4) 24 Switzerland Croatia (-1) Romania (-3) 25 Austria Bulgaria (-6) Croatia (-2) Interestingly enough, all three come up with the same top 25, but in different orders. I used the following assumptions: 1) For summer leagues (Norway, Russia, etc.) I used the 2003 season for 03/04, and the 2002 season for 02/03. The majority of UEFA coefficient points are earned between August and December; furthermore, in summer leagues, entrance to UEFA competitions is earned in the calendar year before the competition begins. 2) In cases in which lower-division teams competed in Europe, I went with the guideline of halving the points earned by the team in domestic play, for each division below the top division. In most cases, the promotion line for a lower division is a bit under double the relegation line in the division above, so this rule-of-thumb works if we assume that the teams going up and down are of similar strength. Another thing to note: I originally used two methods of averaging out coefficients, but eventually decided that computing adjusted coefficients from aggregate data was more accurate than averaging adjusted coefficients for individual clubs. In the spreadsheet, Adj1 is the adjusted value for total possible points; Adj2 is the adjusted value for league median. From a quick scan of the rankings, the adjusted versions seem a bit more reflective of overall league strengths than the raw UEFA coefficients. It would be nice to extend the data an additional season or two back. Any thoughts/comments?