UEFA ranking of Greek clubs heading into 2019/20 season
AGONAsport’s Sarantos Kaperonis analyzes the UEFA rankings of Greece’s clubs ahead of the upcoming UEFA Champions and Europa League season.
The new season is well underway with the first qualifying round of the UEFA Champions and Europa League concluding this week. Thankfully, Greek clubs avoided the early qualifying rounds as Olympiacos, Aris, and Atromitos will enter the European stage in the second qualifying round of their respective competitions this upcoming week. PAOK (UCL) and AEK (UEL) will begin their quest for the group stages in the third qualifying round.
This new UEFA season will be an important one for the future of Greek clubs and Greek football in general (separate piece coming over the weekend). In the UEFA club rankings, the results from the previous five seasons are used to rank Europe’s clubs, meaning that the 2014/15 season will be wiped out and replaced by the new 2019/20 season.
For those clubs that have not competed in Europe in the last five seasons, 20% of their country's total is used to rank the clubs in the UEFA club rankings.
AGONAsport takes a closer look at Greece’s club rankings ahead of the 2019/20 UEFA season.
37. Olympiacos, 35.000 (dropped from 35th)
66. PAOK, 21.000 (dropped from 64th)
83. AEK, 16.000 (from 102nd)
186. Panathinaikos, 5.00 (from 154th)
202. Atromitos, 4.500 (from 202nd)
202. Asteras Tripolis, 4.500 (from 130th)
215. Greece minimum, Aris and Panionios, 4.280 (from 188th)
*Rankings reflect before the start of the first qualifying round.
Olympiacos remain Greece’s highest ranked team in 37th place and 35.000 coefficient points. Olympiacos will lose 11.000 points from their successful 2014/15 campaign and will need to replicate that season to have a shot of returning to the top 30. If Olympiacos can overcome Plzen in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round, they will assure at least a position in the UEFA Europa League group stages (if eliminated in UCL third qualifying round or the playoffs), which will surely help their cause.
PAOK’s disastrous couple of years in Europe have turned costly for the Thessalonikis as they now sit far back in the rankings in 66th with 21.000 points. They will enter the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round draw as an unseeded club and can be paired with the likes of Ajax and Celtic. The Super League champions will lose their high total of 5.000 points from the 2014/15 season and will need to improve greatly in Europe to regain the ground lost in the rankings over the last two seasons.
A possible qualification to the Champions League group stages will give a tremendous four-point boost to their rankings, which will surely see them climb up into the top-50. At a minimum, PAOK will look to secure a place in the UEFA Europa League group stages, if the Champions League dream is squashed in the qualifying rounds.
AEK have taken the UEFA club rankings by storm after two successful seasons in Europe. Despite finishing the 2018/19 Champions League group stages without a single point (the first Greek team to do so), AEK received four previous bonus points for qualifying for the main event. Coupled with their run to the last 32 of the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League, the Enosis have re-entered the top 100 after a long absence from European competitions.
AEK can only improve their ranking this season as they will not lose any points from the 2014/15 campaign (AEK did not compete in Europe that year). If AEK are to set a new goal for the top 50, a Europa League group stage berth is a must. However, falling in the qualifying rounds of the Europa League will result in a lost opportunity to continue their rise in the UEFA club rankings.
For yet another season, Panathinaikos will miss out on continental play. The Greens have a mere five points to their name and with their two points acquired from the 2014/15 season wiped away, Panathinaikos will continue with Greece’s minimum total of 4.280 points. This, unfortunately, is the result of the club’s deep financial issues. Both AEK and Aris, who were also plagued by financial problems, faced a similar situation in the UEFA club rankings, having to settle with the Greek minimum total.
Panathinaikos can only hope that Greece’s five representatives have a good season in Europe as they look to rebuild and hopefully return to the continental stage in the 2021/22 season (Panathinaikos are banned from qualifying for Europe in the 2020/21 season). When the time comes for the Greens to return to European play, they will have a tough task at hand as loom far down the rankings.
Although Atromitos have played in Europe that last few seasons, the Peristeri outfit have yet to make a good run in the competition. As a result, they have failed to accumulate enough points to surpass the minimum Greek total (4.280). If Atromitos are to rise in the rankings, they will need to put together a convincing run in Europe and qualify for the group stages of the Europa League, similar to Asteras Tripolis in 2014.
Asteras Tripolis’ magical run to the UEFA Europa League group stages in the 2014/15 season will no longer be reflected in the UEFA club rankings. The five points they received have been wiped out and the Arkades now loom with the rest of the Greek clubs at 4.280 points, the Greek minimum.
Aris’ absence in Europe over the years means they will have to start from scratch in their efforts to climb in the UEFA club rankings. The Thessalonikis will begin the season with the Greek minimum total, 4.280 points. The club has set sight on the Europa League group stages which will surely see the club drastically rise in the rankings if their goal is achieved. The Kitrinomavri are in a similar position as AEK, when they returned to the European stage after a long absence from Europe.
UEFA Champions League points system
Group stage participation – 4 points
All wins from group stage onward – 2 points
All draws from group stage onward – 1 point
Round of 16 participation – 4 points
Clubs are awarded an additional point if they reach the round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals or final.
N.B. Points are not awarded for elimination in the qualifying rounds or play-offs since those clubs move to the UEFA Europa League and are awarded points for participation in that competition.
UEFA Europa League Points System
Preliminary round elimination – 0.5 points
First qualifying round elimination – 1 point
Second qualifying round elimination – 1.5 points
Third qualifying round elimination – 2 points
Play-off elimination – 2.5 points
Group stage win – 2 points
Group stage draw – 1 point
Clubs are guaranteed a minimum of three points if they reach the group stage and are awarded an additional point if they get to the quarter-finals, semi-finals or final.