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Maybe I shouldn’t have laughed quite so hard at Manchester United losing yet again…

2 months ago

I was flicking between the matches last night and ended up watching most of the Manchester United match.

Just in case you didn’t watch it, it was hilarious.

Manchester United twice took the lead, yet still ended up losing.

At home, to Galatasaray. Who apparently haven’t won in the Champions League forever. Actually, I’m not sure whether this was just referring to away CL games, I was laughing too hard to properly concentrate.

A catalogue of blunders contributing this Manchester United 3-2 defeat.

On reflection though, maybe I shouldn’t have laughed quite so hard.

Or at least I might reconsider the laugher later this season when the likes of Man City, Man Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Brighton, West Ham are playing / losing in Europe.

You see, I had completely forgotten about this fifth place in the Premier League could equal an extra Champions League place thing, as from this season.

The Champions League will have four more teams in it next season (36 not 32) as the format is changing, with two of those extra spaces going to the two best performing countries in European competitions.

Last season, England / Premier League would have got an extra place based on this, so Liverpool would now be competing in the Champions League not Europa (Italy / Serie A would have got the other CL bonus spot). Who knows might finish fifth this season and get / not get a Champions League spot because of that.

Indeed, in five of the last six seasons, the Premier League would have got a fifth CL spot if these extra two places had been allocated based on how each country did in European competition.

Anyway, this (2023/24) season, what happens is that it will be based on the coefficients.

Ranking points are awarded for every match, group-stage and knockout, in the three UEFA club competitions.

The total number of ranking points obtained by each country’s clubs, then divided by the number of that country’s participating clubs.

Following last night’s Manchester United defeat (and Arsenal losing to Lens!), The Athletic have updated on how exactly things stand before Wednesday’s Champions League matches.

As you can see, if you stopped the music now, it would be Belgium and Turkey getting the bonus Champions League spots next season.

UEFA Season 2023/24 Country Coefficients (the total number of coefficient points each country currently has earned, then in brackets the average after divided by the number of clubs competing in Europe from that country):

1. Turkey 31 (7.75)

2. Belgium 24 (4.8)

3. Netherlands 23 (4.6)

4. Poland 17.5 (4.375)

5. Italy 30 (4.285)

6. Denmark 17 (4.25)

7. Germany 29.5 (4.214)

8. Greece 21 (4.2)

9. Portugal 24 (4)

10. Czech Republic 16 (4)

11. Spain 31.5 (3.937)

12. Iceland 11.5 (3.833)

13. Israel 15 (3.75)

14. France 21.5 (3.583)

15. Croatia 13.5 (3.375)

16. England 27 (3.375)

It is very early days of course but it has been a pretty poor effort so far from some of the English clubs, Arsenal and one and Man Utd with two defeats already in the Champions League, a defeat for Brighton in the Europa, another one for Villa in the Conference.

The clubs who get to the very end of these competitions, especially the Champions League, get loads of coefficient points, so no need to panic just yet. Last season of course Man City won the Champions League, Chelsea got to the quarters, Man U managed to get to the last eight of the Europa League, whilst West Ham won the Conference League.

I doubt any Manchester United fans will be cheering on Newcastle United tonight, which I couldn’t care a less about.

However, as things progress and depending on where Newcastle United are in the Premier League, I might be taking a little bit more balanced approach on what I want to happen to certain other Premier League clubs competing in Europe this season…


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