Greece in danger of falling to 16th in UEFA rankings next season

Greece in danger of falling to 16th in UEFA rankings next season

Greece are in real danger of falling to 16th in the UEFA Association Club Coefficient Rankings at the end of next season and AGONAsport’s Sarantos Kaperonis looks at the the threat that lies ahead.

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Greek clubs have struggled in Europe in recent seasons resulting in Greece’s fall in the UEFA Association Club Coefficient Rankings. Last season (2018), Greece claimed a disappointing 15th spot and this season, Greece managed to climb one place into 14th. Although Greece have kept five representatives in Europe during this unsuccessful run in recent years, the threat of dropping to 16th in 2020 poses a real threat to Greek clubs.

A 16th placed finish would see Greece lose one representative in Europe for the 2021/2022 UEFA season, meaning that only one team will play in the Champions League qualifying rounds (the champion) and three in the UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds.

The UEFA Associations' Club Coefficient Rankings are based on the results of each association's clubs in the five previous UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League seasons. The rankings determine the number of places allocated to an association (country) that will participate in UEFA club competitions (Champions League and Europa League). The final ranking at the end of this next UEFA season (2019/20) will be used to determine the number of places for each association in the 2021/22 Champions League and Europa League.

GREECE BEGIN IN 16TH HEADING INTO 2019/20 UEFA SEASON

Since the UEFA Associations' Club Coefficient Rankings are based on the results of each association's clubs in the five previous seasons, Greece will lose the 6.200 points tallied in the 2014/15 season. This was Greece’s best season points wise in the last five years and will no longer count towards their rankings.

As a result, Greece will head into the 2019/20 season ranked 16th in the UEFA Associations’ Club Coefficient Ranking with 21.400 points while Cyprus (!) will be ranked in 15th with a slender advantage at 21.625 points. Cyprus’ clubs have enjoyed success in Europe in recent seasons and this has paid dividends in the country’s coefficient ranking.

Although Greece are within striking distance of Cyprus, 14th placed Denmark sit much further ahead with 24.125 points. The Czechs are in 13th place with 24.800 points while the Netherlands are 12th with 25.350 points (both countries can increase their point tallies with Slavia Praha and Ajax still playing in Europe this season). Eleventh placed Austria will be unreachable at the end of the 2019/20 campaign as they sit far ahead with 28.600 points.

On the other end, 17th Croatia (20.500), 18th Switzerland (20.000), and 19th Serbia (19.500) are closely behind Greece.

Below are the rankings heading into the 2019/20 season

11. Austria 28.600

12. Netherlands 25.350*

13. Czech Republic 24.800*

14. Denmark 24.125

15. Cyprus 21.625

16. Greece 21.400

17. Croatia 20.500

18. Switzerland 20.000

19. Serbia 19.500

*Can still earn points as Slavia Praha (CZE) and Ajax (NED) are still playing in Europe.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR GREECE

The threat is real for Greek clubs. If Greece finish 16th at the end of the 2019/20 season, one less Greek club will compete in Europe for the 2021/22 season. This means that only one team will play in the 2021/22 Champions League qualifying rounds (the champion) and three in the UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds. In addition, the Super League’s third placed team will begin their European season in late June!

What 16th means for the 2021/22 UEFA season:

2021 Super League champion: Begins in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round

2021 Cup champion: Begins in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round

2021 Super League runner-up: Begins in the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round

2021 Super League third place: Begins in the UEFA Europa League first qualifying round.

Greece’s goal for next season will be to claim at minimum 15th place, which keeps Greece’s representatives in Europe at five, two in the Champions League and three in the Europa League. In addition, the Super League’s third and fourth placed teams will begin their hunt for the Europa League group stages in mid-July. With Cyprus in Greece’s striking distance, 15th is a very hopeful goal, but countries closely behind Greece, Croatia, Switzerland, and Norway, also pose a threat to 15th place.

What 15th means for the 2021/22 UEFA season:

2021 Super League champion: Begins in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round

2021 Super League runner-up: Begins in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round

2021 Cup champion: Begins in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round

2021 Super League third place: Begins in the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round

2021 Super League fourth place: Begins in the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round.

A 13th or 14th place finish as opposed to a 15th placed finish, would help the Super League champion as they will begin their Champions League efforts in the third rather than the second qualifying round.

Although 12th looks a long haul in the 2019/20 season, it can be achieved with a good run from all of Greece’s representatives in Europe. Twelfth place is the golden ticket as it assures two Europa League group stage berths. The Cup winner will automatically be given a place in the Europa League group stages while the Super League champion will begin in the playoff qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League (if eliminated will be demoted to the Europa League group stages).

What 12th means for the 2021/22 UEFA season:

2021 Super League champion: Begins in the UEFA Champions League playoff qualifying round

2021 Super League runner-up: Begins in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round

2021 Cup Champion: Granted berth in the UEFA Europa League group stages

2021 Super League third place: Begins in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round

2021 Super League fourth place: Begins in the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round

Unfortunately, 11th place seems out of reach this season for Greece, which under certain circumstances could see the 2021 Super League champion be granted a place in the UEFA Champions League group stages.


 

by Sarantos Kaperonis

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