Off Topic: UCL Rule Change a Gift to the Weak EPL

Starting next season, the top four leagues (Spain, Germany, Italy, and England) will all get four guaranteed CL spots (no playoffs).

Up until now, the rule had been that the top three ranked leagues each got three direct group stage qualifications plus one playoff qualifier.  Whereas the fourth league would get only two direct group entrants and one playoff qualifier.

Of course, there are lots of reasons this happened.  But maybe the most glaring is that West Ham were unable to defeat Astra Giurgiu from Romania and therefore failed to qualify for the Europa League group stages whereas Sassuolo from the Serie A beat Red Star Belgrade and did qualify.

Essentially, this means that there is a high likelihood (though no guarantee) that by the end of this season, the EPL will have fallen to 4th in the UEFA league rankings. And, under the old rules, the EPL would have lost its fourth slot in the Champions League.

It would have been very very hard for EPL blowhards to explain how and why “the greatest league in the world” was only allowed to send three of its incredible teams to the toughest competition in the world.

Even though this will make Champions League qualification slightly easier for Sevilla (breaking into the top 3 in the near future in La Liga is going to be very challenging… though not impossible), count me as slightly disappointed.

Comments 21

  1. Not a fan of the idea. another step towards a super league in my opinion. All about money. Even though the advantage for a club like ourselves who are situated in the top four leagues I feel the smaller clubs who actually win their respective leagues deserve the right, as after all it is the ‘champions league’

    1. Post

      a counter argument is that this type of concession prevents the actual formation of a new super league at the expense of the separate national leagues… but i hear you.

  2. I like what you wrote Rene, fully agreed with the EPL point. EPL is a well-marketed brand and sells well, especially in the Asian market. They will do whatever they can to have as many EPL teams in European competitions (though they sucked hard recently in CL and EL). It is a pity, since when Italy was hit with the Calciopoli scandal, their football degraded to the lowest level, and now Serie A is not even close to being the best league anymore, as it once was since 90s to early 2000s. However, they never whined about that. They accepted it and moved forward, now trying to slowly climb (even though they still stuck, all teams except Juve).

    EPL just can’t accept the reality… well their fans at least. It is a fact that La Liga is the best league in the world quality wise…. it’s also the best regarding UEFA’s official coefficients… I don’t know what’s so hard to understand there.

    Anyway, the new format of CL will surely not be received too well by every football federation… even though there was an article saying that Sevilla could benefit from the new rule that is about to be introduced in CL, which is: teams with good historical results in European competitions will have a guaranteed spot in CL no matter in what position they finish in their respective league. As 5 times winners of the EL… could we be among the privileged?

    Meanwhile, some exciting news for today:

    Diego Gonzalez called up for Spain U-21 NT.

    Vitolo called up for Spain NT. Vitolo also said that I am comfortable in playing everywhere on the pitch… even as a goalie, so that’s great.

    Sirigu official, on loan without a purchasing option. Not sure if that’s good or not, but it indicates that we’re still trusting Rico and Soria for our goal.

    Iborra wants to stay and is happy here. It will depend on the management whether they want to sell him. Sunderland ready to make an offer up to 10 million euros… can that be refused for Iborra?

    Exciting days ahead until the end of the transfer window. Still nothing about the Caio, Medel and Ozyakup rumors.

  3. Lassana Diarra of Marseille added to the midfield rumors. Diarra was chosen for the team of the year at the end of last season (2015-16). He also has extensive experience in La Liga having played for RM (2009-2012) and is a DM with fighting spirit, a ball winner and a level-headed professional who can contribute a lot to the team. Now of course he is probably not in his prime, being 31 years old takes its toll… however, I think that he also has a couple of good years left in him. If we can sign him for cheap, it would be a great addition.

    At the same time, Galatasaray are also after him and reportedly in top position to acquire his signature. Let’s see what happens these days.

  4. Apparently we have offered 8 mil for Medel but inter want 12 MIL. Reports saying an agreement will most likely be made as we are in discussion still and medel wants to come back to Sevilla under sampaoli.

  5. I see sevilla B recorded a second draw for the season making it two draws in two outings. Also again taking the lead with Cotan scoring the opener in the 19th minute only for Lopez to get sent off in the 21st. The ten man Sevilla B held Tenerife off for a 1-1 draw.

  6. Epl is most overrating league in the world, even top teams in epl don’t try to build up from back.I try watching their league but it was wham wham from end to middle or end to end , it was so hard on eyes, no wonder it has gained fanboys from places where football culture is nonexistent. Epl clubs get joke of draw in ucl from qualifying to group stage. On top of that epl fanboys arrogance is unbearable , media gives them more exposure. Some are even happy with the idea that epl is becoming NBA of football , a team like westham is able to outspend giants like Milan and Inter. Shend don’t you think epl will lose it’s relevance if other federation boycot pl and make their own champions league(not destroying domestic leagues) pl without Europe will be like a glorified Chinese league.I hope rest of federations soon take such step and kick pl out of new cl. It’s gonna happen eventually, i don’t think non big pl clubs will sit ideally and watch epl raiding their stars. Imagine if Real Barca ,Bayern start losing their start players every season, they won’t sit ideally.

  7. I understand your point Rico and agree with it in theory. However, the bastards of EPL will like to continue the dominance of the brand in every way possible. After all, football is becoming pure business with every season passing by, Epl has the cash, so they’ll most probably dictate the fate of European competitions and favor themselves.

    Good thing is that Barca and RM are very strong financially so they’ll remain top 2 clubs in the world for a long time. As long as Epl continues to overrate the players they sign with astronomic fees and wages (even average or below players like Andy Carroll), then La Liga is quite safe. It would be near to impossible though, to exclude Epl teams from Euro competitions or projects like a super lewgue etc.

    It’s like moving Coca Cola from the market, a strong worldwide brand but not necessarily healthy or top quality. Same with epl, sometimes when rugby 7ens gets on tv and i watch it from distsnce, it’s almost identical to epl ffootball. Run, shoot, push and tackle, no beauty no finnesse no smart tactics… total crap.

  8. The final list for tomorrow night’s match vs. Villarreal:

    Sergio Rico, Jose Antonio Caro, Mariano, Rami, Couple, Kolo, Market, Kranevitter, Iborra, Nzonzi, Ganso, Correa, Sarabia, Franco Vázquez, Vitolo, Kiyotake, Ben Yedder and Vietto.

    Sirigu not included, don’t know why but perhaps not registered officially still as he signed just last night. Vitolo is in the list after some doubts of muscular discomfort, but he’ll be 100% ready to play now. Diego Gonzalez dropped as Rami and Kolo return, and Konoplyanka… I guess it’s a matter of days before we say farewell to him… a good riddance anyway, never made it and will most probably never make it here.

    Even though it’s tough to predict, I’ll shoot up a preferred lineup for tomorrow night:


    Mercado – Rami – Kolo

    Mariano Vitolo

    Kiyotake – N’Zonzi

    Mudo – Sarabia

    Ben Yedder

    Or if Sampaoli goes with two strikers up front, then Sarabia out and Vietto in up there with Ben Yedder. Curious to see how Samp will approach an away match with a 4th placed (last season) La Liga opponent.


  9. Cristoforo to be loaned to Fiorentina, with an option to buy him at the end of the loan next summer for 2 million euros…. hmmmm!

    1. Correction: Cristoforo is already loaned to Fiorentina (official), and the buying option is 2.5 million euros.

      1. We’re gonna end up regretting this move, just like when Perotti left. He’s only gonna get better. Happy he went to a good team that won’t be facing us though.

  10. Shend i think playing with 2 strikers is best for Us. I hope we could bring a 3 rd striker .we seem to struggle with one striker. Imagine how good our team would’ve been if Ben Arfa joined us.

    1. Sampaoli was asked about the strikers situation and he said that maybe we’ll get a third striker, however, they believe more in the development of Carlos Fernandez so it’s not a priority. Anyway, Carlos is injured I think? Not sure about that.

      In the meantime, I’m watching bits of Lyon and Juve matches live on TV and both teams are sucking so far. Lyon is getting destroyed 4-2 (close to FT) by a poor side like Dijon (away) and Juve is struggling to even keep the ball against an average side like Lazio (away).

      Lacazette went out in the end of the first half in pain after a hit in the knee… will be updated on how long he’ll miss or if it’s a serious injury or not.

      1. Carlos played in both Sevilla Atletico games so he’s healthy. What is Munoz doing? Are we going to loan him or sell him?

      2. Really? Nice then… maybe we won’t opt for a third striker if he’s fully fit and on form.

        There are a couple of teams interested to loan Juan Munoz so definitely his fate will be similar to Cristoforo. Hopefully though we start loaning players WITHOUT a buying option… or it’s not going to be good in the long run.

      3. I was also not impressed by Juve, if we win both matches against Lyon ,we should qualify for r16. It would be even better if we top our group, i guess i’m getting greedy now:\

      4. Not greedy at all. We have the first match vs. Juve in Turin.. a draw would be sufficient, but if we somehow manage a surprise win there, then we’re in for a great CL campaign. But you’re right though, the 2 matches vs. Lyon will determine the 2nd place. Juve will also have to beat Lyon twice to secure the first place and let’s see how they fare against us in RSP.