Unfair Seeding Process for the UEFA CL?

Discussion in 'UEFA and Europe' started by Steele, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. Steele

    Steele New Member

    Jul 10, 2006
    I have only been following soccer for about two years know and this was the first time that I paid any attention to the actual CL draw, but what I discovered was what I believe to be a highly flawed seeding process.

    UEFA seeds teams based on a aggregate of points over a 5 year period in UEFA competition only with some sort of country coefficient included. So, I understand how UEFA tabulate points. I just don't understand why UEFA feels that it matters what happened 3, 4 and 5 years ago.

    How does a team with a different set of players, speak to the quality of a current team?

    UEFA is basically saying, while 99.9% of the population agree that 06/07 Chelsea are one of the best five teams in the world, we feel that due to the fact that 4 and 5 years ago, you were rubbish, you are really the 15th best club for 06/07.

    I also don't understand how club competition is not included at the very least when comparing teams from the same league. Club competition is A) how you qualify for the tournament and B) the most recent set of data to base rankings on.

    UEFA is basically saying, while 100% of the population agree that 05/06 Chelsea were better than 05/06 Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal we feel that due to the fact that 4 and 5 years ago, you were rubbish, while Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal were not, then 06/07 Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal are really better than 06/07 Chelsea despite the fact that 99.9% of football journalists in England would disagree.

    To me the entire point system seems total biased for "traditional" clubs.

    I am in the minority on this opinion or did I just state the obvious?

    Again, I have not be following soccer for that long, so please excuse my ignorance on this issue.

    Mod Note: If this is in the wrong forum or will create an unwanted club war then feel free to move or delete.
  2. revelationx

    revelationx Member+

    Jun 5, 2006
    While it may be simple to look at a league position to see whether Chelsea were better than Man Utd, it is not so easy to then compare teams from different leagues. Is Barcelona (the best in Spain) better than Chelsea ( the best in England)? Who is better Bayern Munich or Man Utd? The ideal way to calculate who is best are the results between the teams in Europe. However all teams do not play all other teams - for example Liverpool did not play Real Madrid - so who is better? The best way to do it is take into account the performance in Europe as League position alone cannot determine strength - the champions of Greece may be weaker than the runners up in Italy.

    It seems right to reward teams who have achieved in Europe over those who have not. Chelsea may be stronger on paper than Liverpool but they have a worse record in Europe over the last 5 years. This is why they are seeded below Liverpool and other teams. The whole concept of seeding is the expectation of a particular team doing well - thus it rates those who have done well in this tournament previously. If you only rate a team on the last year's performance in Europe this would penalise teams who have done consistently well over a period but just had a blip in the last year.

    You could argue to do away with seeding completely but this would mean the best teams would likely knock each other out early and lessening the overall interest in the reamainder of the tournament. Jose Mourinho has no problem with seeding in the Champions League - he merely has a problem that Chelsea are not in the top tier of seeds. Chelsea are in an unusual situation in that they have risen very far very fast. This is not usually the case and thus they are seemingly disadvantaged in Europe - however if they perform well this year and next then their coefficient will rise.
  3. DanRod78

    DanRod78 New Member

    Mar 30, 2003
    Kansas City, KS
    Shouldn't be 5 years.
    2 years is a better representation of a team's performance.

    A team can completely chance in 1-2 years.

    An example is Betis, they were Copa del Rey champions, played Champions League (I think they beat Liverpool) and a few months later they saved their a.. from going to 2nd division because some other team lost their last game of the season.
  4. Sagy

    Sagy Member

    Aug 6, 2004
    In this particular case Chelsea doen't have a strong point :(.

    Chealea is ranked 14th in UEFA for 2006 based on 5 year total (see UEFA Team Ranking 2006. If we were to look at a two year average Chelsea is only up to 10th.

     1 AC Milan	    57.6875 CL
     2 FC Barcelona	    51.2660 CL
     3 Arsenal	    50.8995 CL
     4 [B]Olympique Lyon[/B]   48.3390 CL
     5 Liverpool	    47.8995 CL
     6 Internazionale   46.6875 CL
     6 Juventus	    46.6875
     8 Villarreal	    46.2660
     8 Sevilla	    46.2660
    10 [B]Chelsea[/B]  	    42.8995 CL 
    10 Middlesbrough    42.8995
    12 AZ Alkmaar	    41.4625
    13 [B]PSV Eindhoven[/B]    38.4625 CL
    14 Steaua Bucuresti 38.3700 CL
    15 Schalke 04	    37.9325
    16 CSKA Moscow	    37.6000 CL
    17 Bayern München   36.9325 CL
    18 Real Madrid	    35.2660 CL
    19 Lille OSC	    33.3390 CL
    20 Newcastle United 31.8995 CL
    Out are Real Madrid, Manchester United and Valencia

    If we look only at last year (a better indicator of current strength if we follow the this logic) we get:
     1 FC Barcelona	        34.1620 CL
     2 Arsenal	        31.7610 CL
     3 Sevilla	        30.1620
     4 [B]Steaua Bucuresti[/B]	26.5550 CL
     5 AC Milan	        26.0675 CL
     6 Middlesbrough	25.7610
     7 [B]Olympique Lyon[/B]	24.5680 CL
     8 Schalke 04	        24.4440
     9 Villarreal	        24.1620
    10 Internazionale	24.0675 CL
    11 Rapid Bucuresti	23.5550
    12 Juventus	        23.0675
    13 Zenit St. Petersburg	20.3000
    14 FC Basel	        20.0935
    15 [B]AS Roma[/B]	        19.0675 CL
    15 Palermo	        19.0675
    17 [B]Levski Sofia[/B]	        17.8875 CL
    18 Benfica	        17.8150 CL
    19 Liverpool	        17.7610 CL
    19 Chelsea	        17.7610 CL
    Out are Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester United and Valencia.

    A strong argument can be made that overall the UEFA seeds (based on 5 years) are no worse then the seeds a 2 or 1 year points total would have produced.
  5. maturin

    maturin Member

    Jun 8, 2004
    The real flaw in the system is that UEFA Cup victories count the same as UCL victories. Chelsea went out to the Champions of Europe in the round of 16 in the CL, so even if we only count last year they are ranked 19th. Do UEFA really believe that 18 teams were better last season? UEFA Cup victories should not count as much as CL victories and a lot of these problems would go away.
  6. Hazzathewazza

    Hazzathewazza New Member

    May 30, 2005
    Agree with that.
  7. Steele

    Steele New Member

    Jul 10, 2006

    This process is starting to make a little more sense. I see a bit of method behind the madness. Basically, their is no good way to rank teams from differnet leagues.

    I can see how it is hard to compare apples to oranges, but when you have four apples and one apple that is generally agreed upon to be the best and it is ranked below the other three apples well the system seems unfair.

    Also when you only take CL games into the equation most teams are only playing 6 games. A team like Werder Bremen is going to have a much tougher time picking-up points against Barca and Chelsea than Olypiakos, will against Valencia and Roma although many would argue that Bremen are of higher quality.

    In no way should UCL points be equivalent to CL points.

    What are the country coefficeints used for? Are they a way to determine league strength?
  8. JanBalk

    JanBalk Member+

    Jun 9, 2004
    It may not be an exact ranking or rank the best team first but is unquestionably fair, since all clubs know that the ranking is a reward (or punishment) for how well they did in the European cups lately not a real ranking of which teams is currently the best .

    Yes this is a point when the UEFA ranking not is fair. But since all team know about the system they are allf ree to exploit it.
    In a way yes, since they are a part of the ranking and the only part for teams who have not recently played in UEFA Cup's. So it is a way to se the difference between the leagues, but to use that do in combination with league results to rank would still need a LOT of working. And would not be recommended, UEFA’s own competition is fairly free from corruption which can NOT be said for all of the national Leagues.
  9. Roma_Wolves

    Roma_Wolves New Member

    May 4, 2004
    Austin, Texas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    One thing I have to comment on: You say that most people would universally declare Chelsea the best English team, of the big 4, but Chelsea and Liverpool have met many times in the last season or two, both in cup competitions (domestic and European) and league. They, if I remember correctly, are fairly even on record, with Liverpool tending to get the edge in non-league play, including of course, knocking Chelsea out of the Champs League in '05 (and going on to that historic final win) and winning the Charity Shield a few weeks ago. So, who's better?

    I'm not saying you're wrong. In fact, I would tend to agree with you that Chelsea are the overall beetter side. But, does that mean they will perform better in the UCL? History says otherwise.

    Of course, we are writing the history of tomorrow today, so who knows?
  10. Nico Limmat

    Nico Limmat Member+

    Oct 24, 1999
    Dubai, UAE
    Grasshopper Club Zürich
    Nat'l Team:
    More bonus points are available in the CL. Three for making the group stage, one for making the first first knock-out round. In the UEFA Cup you don't start getting bonus points until you reach the quarterfinals. Perhaps we could further increase the available bonus points in CL, but I don't think the system needs a drastic overhaul...
  11. revelationx

    revelationx Member+

    Jun 5, 2006
    This is true, Chelsea have been more consistent in the league but Liverpool have been better than Chelsea in their matchups in Europe in the last two years (knocking them out and also finishing above them in the group stages).
  12. Steele

    Steele New Member

    Jul 10, 2006
    Thanks for the opinions thus far.

    So, the seeding process isn't meant to be used as simple a judge of ones chances of winning the CL, but also as a "reward and punishment" for previous "sucesses and failures" in the CL?

    If this is true it makes sense, but I don't really agree with it.

    The only reason that it comes close to being accurate is because the parity in Europe is low. Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Inter, AC Milan, Real, Barca, ect. are all historically good clubs. Their quality 5 even 10 or 15 years ago is at least a decent reflection of their current quality. The fact that UEFA buckets teams as 1, 2, 3 and 4 removes so a bit of the natural variation between clubs, because all 1 are equal.

    Problems really only arise when teams make a dramatic climb or fall in quality in a short period of time.
  13. Forza Moskva

    Forza Moskva New Member

    Sep 20, 2004
    Mila Kunis' Crib
    In a utopian world I would agree, but you're forgetting the CL gives a 3 point coeff bonus for reaching the group stage, and 1 for every stage after. Also, if you degrade the coeffs from UEFA Cup victories then countries like Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, etc will never develope a good football foundation. CL earns the big money, but in order to play there you need the coefficients. If you were to make CL victories worth more you'd just help the top 3 leagues (maybe 5) whilst hurting the rest... IMO
  14. Forza Moskva

    Forza Moskva New Member

    Sep 20, 2004
    Mila Kunis' Crib
    ala Chelsea
  15. Steele

    Steele New Member

    Jul 10, 2006
    A lot of the reason for my lack of understanding comes from growing up and still following the NFL, and college american football, basketball and soccer where dramatic fluctation in quality is normal and expected from season to season much less over a five year period.

    A similar system in those sports would be horrible flawed (I realize their is no CL equivalent in any of those sports).

    At least now, I see that it isn't as bad as it looks to the untrained eyes, especially when you understand the for the most part club quality is at least similar to 5 years ago even if 90% of the players are different.
  16. Edgar

    Edgar Member

    If someone didn't already answer... The country coefficients determine the number of European spots for each league. For instance countries ranked 1st to 3rd get 4 CL places and 3 UEFA Cup place. 4th to 6th, 3 CL and 3 UEFA spots and so on. Here's a seeding access list for tthe 2006-2007 season (link) and the 2007-2008 season (link). This is Forza AZ's site.
  17. Clan

    Clan Member

    Apr 23, 2002

    I wouldn't award more bonus points though, I would just halve the amount of points a win in the UEFA cup is worth.

    Also, there needs to be a fall off in value for wins 5 years ago.
    Teams, and not just chelsea, change every year.

    I dare say, most teams have changed, for better and worse, dramatically in a span of 5 years.

    Diminishing return, thats what is needed.

    05/06 = %100 of co-efficient points earned.
    04/05 = %75 of co-efficient points earned.
    03/04 = %50 of co-efficient points earned.
    02/03 = %25 of co-efficient points earned.
    01/02 = %15 of co-efficient points earned.
  18. Steele

    Steele New Member

    Jul 10, 2006
    I think this system is a better measurment than the current format. I still wish their was a way to include expected performance in the current CL to give weight to offseason roster transfers.

    The problem is doing ithis in a way that doesn't drastically alter the current framework and doesn't bringing subjective people into the equation. (Basically all teams know how they will be scored going into the draw). If their is a way to compare a GK peformance to that of a D, M and F (ACTIM). Then their has to be a system that can be designed to award points based on expected performance. I bet some book-makers already use a similar system to create odds.

    It doesn't have to be differnet amount of points for every team, but could simply be 4 award amounts say 20, 15, 10, 5 or something along those lines. This could then be thrown in the above equation where it would count say 25% of a teams co-efficient point total.

    What will happen when Juventus comes back from its relegation in 3 or 4 years and has few points left, but has bought players to return to its 05/06 form? Under the current system, their is just no way to account for drastic changes in form.

    Doing this wouldn't alter the seeds drastically because the same teams are still going to get the maximum bonus points.

    I know this idea needs a lot of tweeking, but just an idea that could be expanded apon into something that works and is fair.
  19. BocaFan

    BocaFan Member+

    Aug 18, 2003
    Queens, NY
    Chelsea didn't do anything in Europe last year either. :cool:

    But I get your point. The system isn't perfect. I've always said, the best formula is to combine league coefficient with the team's position in their league the previous season.

    How a team has done recently in Europe shouldn't even enter the equation.
  20. Cannon

    Cannon Member

    United States
    Sep 2, 2001
    Washington, DC metro
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Disagree on this point. The simple fact is that what it takes to advance in the CL is quite different from what is needed to win a league. For example, the tactics required to win home and away in the CL knockout stages are much different than those needed to earn points per game in a league. Arsenal were in no position to come close to Chelsea in the Prem last season but we did develop a good tactic (mostly from necessity due to our injuries and other issues) that served us well in the CL. We played much better football in previous seasons when we were also great in the league but this brand of football didn't work well in europe. It would be silly to push a team like that higher in the seeding.

    I think keeping the seeding tied to how a club actually does in the CL and UEFA Cup is key as it the only way to track how well the team adapts to the different requirements of those tournaments. Using League position alone would make teams top seeds even if they don't seem to have any ability to adapt to the CL.
  21. aman201

    aman201 Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    steele it's over a 5 year period, so thats how it is. it rewards consistency of club teams
  22. leg_breaker

    leg_breaker Member

    Dec 23, 2005
    Chelsea have outperformed United in Europe for at least three seasons, and have been better than them in the league for two years, so how on earth are United seeded?
  23. BPBlueSox

    BPBlueSox Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    AFC Ajax
    No need to devalue the UEFA cup anymore than it already has been. Agree with your overall point.
  24. Sagy

    Sagy Member

    Aug 6, 2004
    The problem is that your performance 5 years ago is as valuable as your performance last year. From 5 years ago Chelsea is in a 20 points hole and there is an additional 21 points to overcome from 4 years ago. If UEFA were to use a straight diminishing value formula (100%, 80%, 605, 40%, 20%) then the top teams would be:
    Rank Team              Points
     1   AC Milan          78.6527 CL
     2   FC Barcelona      75.9055 CL
     3   Arsenal           67.8710 CL
     4   Internazionale    67.2527 CL
     5   Juventus          65.0527
     6   Liverpool         63.4710 CL
     7   Real Madrid       62.7055 CL
     8   [B]Olympique Lyon[/B]    61.3730 CL
     9   Villarreal        57.3055
    10   [B]Chelsea[/B]           55.4710 CL
    11   [I]Manchester United[/I] 52.2710 CL
    12   PSV Eindhoven     50.8280 CL
    13   [I]Valencia[/I]          48.9055 CL
    13   Sevilla           48.9055
    15   Newcastle United  48.2710
    16   FC Porto          48.2382 CL
    17   Bayern München    47.2659 CL
    18   Schalke 04        45.4659
    19   AS Roma           44.2527 CL
    20   Middlesbrough     43.8710
    Reasonable top 20. The net effect on CL seeding is that Lyon(8) and Chelsea(10) replace ManU(11) and Valencia(13) in pot 1; Steaua Bucuresti (22) and Benfica (24) replace Lille (28) and Celtic(41) in pot 2. All these changes are reasonable (even desirable).
  25. Steele

    Steele New Member

    Jul 10, 2006
    The crux of my point of views is that what happend 3, 4 and 5 years ago has no bearing on the quality of any team in 06/07. Their may be a few trends, you can see who was "historically" better, but if you don't also take into account what is going on currently you missing the most important piece of information about what will happen in the near future.

    If the purpose of the ranking process is to group the teams in rank order of which is most likely to win the 06/07 CL, then I think the system is flawed.

    Although, I understand the process if indeed the seed is a reward/punishment not trying to predict a teams actual likelyhood of sucess.

Share This Page