Playoff Winner Will be Unseeded in Champions League Qualifying
With Feyenoord winning this year’s Dutch Eredivisie title, the Superleague’s playoff winner will officially be unseeded in both qualifying rounds of next year’s UEFA Champions League.
Last weekend, Feyenoord were crowned champions of the Dutch Eredivisie for the first time in 18 years, earning a place in next year’s Champions League Group Stage. This outcome affects the winner of the Superleague playoffs, mainly PAOK, as they were the only Greek team with hopes of being seeded in the Champions League 3rd qualifying round draw.
PAOK currently have the highest position in UEFA’s Club Coefficient Ranking among the teams competing in the playoffs having accumulated 35.080 points, whereas Panathinaikos have 15.080 points, AEK have 6.580 points, and Panionios are last with 5.580 points.
Feyenoord’s straight ticket to the Group Stage sends Ajax to the Champions League 3rd Qualifying Round and as a result, sends Greece’s playoff winner to the unseeded side of the draw.
If Ajax won the league, they would have directly qualified for the group stages and Feyenoord would have been sent to the qualifying rounds. Due to Feyenoord’s lower Coefficient ranking (81st) when compared to PAOK’s (61st), the Dutch side would have be unseeded in the 3rd qualifying round draw and PAOK would have been seeded.
However, Ajax finished in second place and their high Coefficient ranking (27th) will make them seeded in Champions League qualifying and the Superleague playoff winner unseeded.
A reminder that the Greek Superleague playoff winner will need to advance past TWO qualifying rounds to qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stages.
Below are the probable seeded and unseeded groups for the Champions League 3rd Qualifying Round if PAOK were to win this year's playoffs. The leagues in the Czech Republic, Russia, and Belgium are still in action and the final standings are not yet final.
Seeded: Dynamo Kyiv (UKR), Ajax (NED), Viktoria Plzen (CZE), CSKA Moscow (RUS), Club Brugge (BEL)
Unseeded: Steuau Bucuresti (ROU), PAOK* (GRE), Young Boys (SUI), Nice (FRA), Istabul Başakşehir (TUR)