Whether it is the Champions or Europa League for Newcastle United, they could have a key role in deciding whether the English Premier League remains number one in terms of club football.

UEFA’s system gives points to teams on the basis of reaching each stage of a competition and for wins and draws. You then tot up all the points for all the teams a country has in European competition, divide the total by the number of teams, and that is your country co-efficient. On the basis of five seasons’ returns, to balance out freak good or bad results, you then rank the countries and award places.

England (Premier League) are currently top but this is more to do with consistency than real success. The last time the English league was top in any particular season was 2007/08 when an English club coincidentally last won a European trophy, Manchester United in the Champions League.

Since then the English league has remained number one (average over the last five seasons) but the countries who have finished top in individual seasons since then have been Ukraine (2008/09), Germany (2009/10), Portugal (2010/11) and this current season it will be Spain – regardless as to whether Chelsea win the final or not.

Much of other countries’ success is down to performances in the Europa League where English clubs have been generally dismal, not helped by many of them putting weakened teams out.

Next season will be a real struggle for England to remain top because 2007/08 points fall off and will be replaced by next season’s European performances, Spain will start with a sizeable advantage and if the English teams don’t outperform them in both the Champions League AND Europa League then the self-professed greatest league on the planet won’t be, if you see what I mean.

The ‘big’ clubs won’t worry too much at the minute as the top three countries get four Champions League places and the top three (England, Spain and Germany) are actually increasing the gap to Italy in fourth.

The fact remains though that Newcastle will be representing both club and country next season and I have a pretty strong feeling the Premier League marketing executives will be praying that Newcastle United do the business, ‘second best league in Europe’ doesn’t quite have the same ring to it!

22 comments
GR1125
GR1125

Excellent article. Folks make decisions to stay or go, it's their decision & everyone's circumstances are different.

Me? I meet the same lads who I started to go to the match with 47 years ago; we have a beer or five, our sons now join us - it's what we do. We see the same faces in the pubs, all desperate folks just like us!

Yes, we want things to change but if it was trophies we were after we would have stopped going years ago.

I still think we need some Messiah figure to organize something against the regime but I believe that it will be embarrassment or shame which will drive Ashley out, not losing a few quid at the turnstile.

Pardew suddenly departed & Ashley will certainly depart.

Until then, why should I allow him to stop me having a good day out in my town (apart from 90 minutes sometimes) with friends & family? 

Maximus Moose
Maximus Moose

A very good article but at the end of the day by going to the match your condoning Ashley

SGM
SGM

Your protests would make a huge impact on the club, but for one thing, Gate receipts are a fraction of a clubs income, so a club doesn't need to keep them happy, they are now no longer courted, in fact they are becoming a problem, all clubs in the Prem. now discourage individuals in favour of corporate.

v0ices
v0ices

@SGM a rather large fraction of a clubs income don't make it sound like pennies when its tens of millions, not to mention all the associated income from merchandise etc. The mans greedy cut his profits and he will sell up so he can take his money elsewhere for a better return. That's not taking into account any penalties sky or BT may have written into contracts regarding empty grounds. Staying away may not work but going will just continue to feed the fat mans wallet and justify his tenure as custodian of our club.

SGM
SGM

@v0ices @SGM Merchandise has been sold off, internal catering has been sold off, even the match-day programmes.Individuals need marshalling and crowd control is becoming expensive, corporate is far more profitable. And i believe its Sky that feeds the wallet. if you want to hit his Wallet cancel your Sky subscription.

1957
1957

It's always nice to read Chris's articles, wish I could do as well. I don't always agree with them but they are a blessed relief from the rehashed Chronicle rubbish and the efforts from the let's write anything so everyone can slag off the regime crew.

I still go to the match, not because I'm a particular admirer of the clubs business plan, but because it's time I get to spend with my son who lives out of the area and travels home for each home game. Oddly for some we still enjoy the games and the chance to interact with the supporters around us, some of whom we have sat with for many years. None of these are contemplating a boycott, because we all feel it will have no effect on Ashley.

A boycott of SD would have as much effect as the mackem's Sugar Puffs effort years ago, SD is a national company and our small corner of the world is of little consequence in the grand scheme of things

mentalman
mentalman

Finally a decent article.

I would disagree with you on the success of the 60minute walkout simply because there was a 69th minute walkout to. Hats off to the guys who arranged the walkout but then a seperate group came along and decided to do their own walkout 9mins later which turned both into a joke. I can remember watching it on TV and on 60mins the commentators said is this the arranged walkout or is it just a load of geordies going for a pie.

Why couldn't eveyone just agree to leave at one point, it would have made a much bigger statement.

Brian Standen
Brian Standen

Top artucle, puts my writing to shame. Excellent points

Rangers1ST
Rangers1ST

@MikeAshleyLies Boycott wouldn't work anyway with the TV £ you get. Only way to be rid of him is a collective vilification of SD by fans.

andy_emmers
andy_emmers

@MikeAshleyLies Excellent article - see it all over the fan pages, all want action but end up falling out over preaching their point of view

LeazesEnder
LeazesEnder

I always presumed these Mills and Boon articles were written for 'the Ladies' or ex-pats reminiscing over salad days fare...