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Champions League


Cash incentives to do well in Europa League

Premier League clubs may be offered cash incentives to do as well as possible in the Europa League. The plan is one of a number of measures that have been discussed to ensure that the top flight does not lose its fourth slot in the Champions League to a resurgent Serie A.

Italy made up more than half their deficit to England in Uefa's coefficient table in 2015.   They could leap ahead next season leaving the Premier League with only three slots from 2018.

Top clubs want to ring fence Champions League

Leicester City may have every prospect of qualifying for the Champions League this season, but the chances of a club outside the elite taking part will be reduced in future if the European Club Association gets its way.

They are concerned that too many big clubs are finding their way to the competition barred, particularly in the more competitive English and Italian leagues.

European Super League is back on the agenda

The idea of a European Super League, first raised in 1998, is back on the agenda.   Karl-Heinz Rummnenigge, the chief executive of Bayern Munich,  raised it at a forum at Bocconi University in Italy.

What he had in mind was a competition, either under the auspices of Uefa or privately run, with 20 or so top clubs from England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France.   A few games might be played in the United States or Asia.

Financial hit from United exit significant

The financial effects of Manchester United's exit from the Champions League at the hands of Wolfsburg are significant, but far from devastating.   The blow to their prestige is probably greater.

Revenues for 2014-15 fell by £37.8m largely because of United's failure to qualify for the Champions League.   However, United only budget to reach the quarter finals of the Champions League each year so the cost will be only around £5m on that basis.   It will be more than offeset by the new Premier League broadcasting deal.

Empty seats at the Emirates

The announced attendance for Arsenal's Champions League game against Dynamo Zagreb was 58,798, but it seems that the actual attendance was around 50,000.   Clubs, of course, customarily include season ticket holders in attendance figures whether they are there or not.

Are Uefa targeting Manchester City?

Manchester City face with being charged by Uefa after their fans booed the Champions League anthem before their match against Seville on Wednesday.  Uefa's control, ethics and disciplinary body are to consider 'the disruption of the competition anthem' at their meeting on 19 November.

Uefa sources are discounting the prospect of a formal charge, but City intend to robustly defend their supporters' right to peaceful protest and are instructing lawyers.

Uefa pot is bigger

Uefa has provided details of the financial arrangements for the Champions League and Europa League for the 2015-18 cycle.  A total of €1.257bn will be available for distribution each season, of which €112m will go in solidarity payments to national associations.   For the first time the Champions League and the Europa League will form one single pot of money.

Arsenal pay the price

Arsenal will miss out on the biggest Champions League prize pot ever if they fail to qualify for the group stage which looks increasingly likely.  The pot has been boosted by the deal with BT Sports.  They will get £8.84m for reaching the group stage.

Swiss Ramble scales heights with United

The Swiss Ramble blog has scaled the heights of analysis once again with an impressive in depth treatment of Manchester United.   As always, there are lots of graphs and data to back up the argument.  It must take hours of careful work, but you also need the right skill set to do it properly.

England could lose fourth Champions League spot

There is a risk that England could lose its fourth Champions League spot.  It shouldn't be exaggerated, but England could be overtaken by Italy.