UEFA considering giving Europa League winner Champions League place

EuropaLeagueTrophyinArenA1 (Getty)

By IVES GALARCEP

The Europa League is a competition that doesn’t carry quite the prestige you would expect for a European competition, particularly in country’s with larger leagues that are far more interested in Champions League glory.

UEFA just might have the way to make the competition matter much more.

Europe’s soccer governing body will announce on Friday whether Europa League winners will be granted UEFA Champions League places in the future.

A caveat that must be acknowledged is the strong likelihood that this rule could mean that a team that doesn’t finish high enough in its league to earn a Champions League berth could then wind up taking a spot from a team that did do well enough in the league. This happened when Chelsea won the UEFA Champions League a year ago. Since UEFA does not allow more than four teams from any one league, Tottenham was forced to miss out of the most recent Champions League.

What do you think of this idea? See it as a great incentive? Think it’s misguided?

Share your thoughts below.

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44 Responses to UEFA considering giving Europa League winner Champions League place

  1. Nick4235 says:

    I think it’s a good idea. Gives clubs more incentives to really go after it in the Europa League. If numbers don’t work I’d even be okay if they let both finalists in though only if they needed to work out the numbers.

  2. Drew says:

    Would anyone really complain about Chelsea or Benfica playing in the group stages next year?

    I’m all for it. Kind of seems like a no-brainer if you’re UEFA

    • Old School says:

      Summed up my thoughts exactly.

      Adding value to a tournament not many people (or players) care about? Win/win.

    • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

      They were both in the group stages this year and crashed out. I don’t like the idea of adding champions league group stage failures to the Europa league. Chelsea failed in champions league play this season and were rewarded with the Europa league title…seems backwards to me

    • kyle williams says:

      I think the problem isn’t just a team that didn’t qualify for Champs league knocking out another team in their domestic league, but potentially a team knocked out early in the Champs league getting a spot the following year ( by winning europa) vs a team that makes it further in the champs league. Example if Chelsea had lost in the final last year and a team eliminated from champs league in group stage won europa, but didn’t qualify for champs league following year through their league.

  3. beto says:

    i think its a great idea, the champions league should be made up of tournament champions..

    hopefully next year Spurs can win the Europa League and knock out one of the current big four (chelski, gooners, united and city) from the UCL. Put that in your pipe!

  4. Kyle B says:

    I’m all for it too, it would cause teams to actually treat it seriously which is just more entertainment for us the fans. And it gives hope to teams that may not be able to overcome their high spending counterparts in their domestic leagues that they can still qualify for champions league

  5. beto says:

    are they also going to vote on Gibraltar’s UEFA status? if they are allowed i wonder how many English C footballers become Gibraltarian national teamers in exchange for a nice island home?

  6. Frank says:

    Terrible idea. As a soccer fan I’m still not going to care about the Rosenberg – Anzhi type matches.

    • Jay says:

      Then don’t watch.

      • Frank says:

        And I won’t (how many games can you honestly watch after you get home from work?). My point is that I don’t see how this is going to make the competition more relevant. Perhaps we can ban teams from competing in the competition the next year if they don’t make it past the first round!

        (Brain Guy, I do apologize for the misspelling in my prior post.)

    • Brain Guy says:

      It’s Rosenborg.

    • slyboy says:

      So as a soccer fan you only care about the name on the jersey? If Anzhi wins Europa League they will have been playing at a pretty damn high level. Oh wait, but they arent Real Madrid or Chelsea, guess they arent worth watching.

  7. FulhamDC says:

    It sucks. More big money for the bigger teams. There are plenty of clubs who fight to get to the Europa League every year and take the tournament seriously. Providing incentives for the billion dollar teams might make a few more of them care, but it won’t make the average European football fan watch it.

  8. Travis says:

    An average Europe League game was much more entertaining this year than an average CL game, it is a fun competition to watch. Like the idea

  9. adekunle fajemisin says:

    I think d whole idea behind this is τ̲̅ȍ make d competition more attractive n likeable.nice.it gives some clubs champions league hope.

  10. Steevens says:

    Anyone have stats on how many of the recent winners did not qualify for CL through their league play? Also, how many winners of the Europa league dropped down into that competition from the CL, (like Chelsea this year)?

  11. THomas says:

    Come on Fulham!!!!!

  12. RK says:

    I like it, except that they need to stop penalizing teams like Tottenham, in this example. Reward the team and the league and give them a bonus spot.

  13. TomG says:

    I think it makes sense, but they should change all rules that get other teams kicked out. Why should the 4th place team lose out when they’ve done exactly what they were supposed to do. Just make it a play in match. More money for everyone.

    • Anthony says:

      TomG,

      I see your point, but technically a 4th place team is not in it. They have to qualify for it through a playoff. If the they win that, then they officially get into the CL groups stages.

      I would also be hard pressed to say that the Europa League winner is not as good if not better that the 4th place holders in England/Spain/Germany or the 3rd place in Italy. If they are on par, why not reward the team who actually WON something rather finish 4th best.

      Another ancillary benefit would be the added value of the competition to English teams (who, honestly, do not take it seriously — Chelsea aside because Benitez did). Other leagues in Europe take it fairly seriously (at least that was what I observed when I lived in Europe).

      • TomG says:

        Because last season, Spurs finished ahead of Chelsea, yet Chelsea got the UCL spot which goes against everything the sport stands for. Should Wigan get a UCL spot since they won the FA Cup?

        • Kyle B says:

          There’s a big difference between the FA Cup and the Europa League. Wigan shouldn’t qualify simply by winning a domestic cup but if they were to go and defeat all of Europe in this upcoming Europa league why shouldn’t they be rewarded?

        • Anthony says:

          Spurs WERE NOT in it last season. They were in CL qualifications (it’s semantics), but 4th place is the play-offs to get in the Champions League. Second, as Kyle said, comparing to Wigan is apples and oranges since Wigan won a DOMESTIC cup and not a EUROPEAN cup. If Spurs had won EL this year, I would have had no problem with meaning qualification for CL.

  14. biff says:

    Good idea, and while UEFA is at it, they should devise a schedule that allows Europa League games to be played on Tuesdays and/or Wednesdays like the Champions League. Those Thursday games wreak havoc on the smaller clubs who cannot rotate like the big teams. Some Bundesliga teams this season had to play two days later on Saturday. I think Hannover had to do that once.

  15. Dave says:

    Imagine, now Tottenham can finish 3rd and still not make CL. This is going through. :)

  16. Brain Guy says:

    How’s this for raising the stakes? Have the Europa League winner and the Champions League winner play each other for the spot in the next CL competition.

    • Anthony says:

      What? ahh…you are being facetious… correct?

      • NC Jeff says:

        I think he’s referring to the Super Cup … though I think asking the EL champ. to beat the CL champ. in order to “earn” a CL spot is a bit harsh.

        I don’t think they need to set up a situation where a team gets bumped, like Spurs did last year. They already provide a EL wildcard spot to a league for something (sorry, I forget what). But, they use the same process for this.

        • Brain Guy says:

          Not being facetious, just throwing out an idea for making the EL competition mean more. I guess, per NC Jeff, that it would make the Super Cup a “play-in” game for CL. Agree that it would be harsh. But it’s just an idea to throw out there.

  17. primoone says:

    Finally….

  18. Gnarls says:

    When I first started watching Europa League, I thought this was already the case. I was surprised to learn the Europa winner does not get a UCL berth the following year. It makes a lot of sense.

  19. JC says:

    Remind me whats happening to Europa league TV coverage next year…

  20. Brain Guy says:

    I know it’s against the grain, but after some thought I wonder if it’s better to keep the two competitions totally separate – even eliminating the drop-down of CL teams into the EL. If you’re going to have a “second-tier” competition, leave it for those teams. If you want to make them dare more, sure, give the winner a place in the next CL. But if a team finishes third in its CL group, send it home and let the EL teams, including the little guys, fight it out.

  21. peaton says:

    I am pretty sure that there is an American playing for Olympique Lyon Women who will face Wolfsburg in the UEFA Champions League final this weekend. Are you going to give her a shout-out? Rapinoe would be the first American Champions league winner!

  22. YO says:

    I don’t particurlarly like the fact that teams compete in the CL and lose and then drop to the EL and win it as it was the case this year. So the idea has it merits and will make it fair.

  23. Ben says:

    Wigan to the 2014-15 Champions League, baby!

  24. Achums dachung says:

    Europa league winners deserve a place in the CL. They are always champions to be reckon with next season. Porto won it under mourinho & won the champion cleague the ff season.. Sevila won it &beat barca the cl holders. Barca narrowly by a lone goal caused by a mistake from chingryski a player they have acquired playing against them. Atletico trashed chelsea the cl winners. How many cl teams are better than atletico. Chelsea scored the highest number of goals & earned..10points in the group stage but could not qualify although some groups qualify with fewer points. Man city could not make it because of their group. I am of the opinion that europa teams are good enough to be watched in the cl talk more of their champions…