Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has come out today and criticized the Europa League structure, and the fact that Champions League clubs drop down to the Europa League as a kind of compensation, for going out of the Champions League, which is very strange if you think about it.
Alan Pardew – not much money in the Europa League
Newcastle are in the ridiculous situation that they have to play against Atromitos FC in Athens, Greece on Thursday night this week, and then play at Chelsea in an important Premier League match 48 hours later – how’s that for Europa League planning?
Alan Pardew has made some good points in his look at the Europa League and one is the scheduling – Europa league games are played on the Thursday nights, so the clubs in the Premier League hope to have games on the following Sunday, and why on earth do Champions League clubs drop into the Europa League when they are eliminated from the Champions League?
If that doesn’t tell everybody the Champions League is numero uno – nothing will.
This is what Alan said about the Europa League in the Mirror today:
“I don’t think I am alone in thinking the Europa League is misconceived in terms of the way it is put together.” “You play so many games and then the Champions League teams fall down to the Europa League – what’s all that about?”
“I think it really needs to be looked at to be honest. We are in it though and we will try to win every competition we are in.” “But the fact we will have to juggle our playing staff for the Premier League and the Europa League fixtures means we have to take a bit of a gamble with our chances of progressing in Europe.”
“There isn’t a lot of money in it, not unless you win the thing. Not compared to the Premier League.” “I am still, of course, looking forward to the challenge. You want to pit your wits against other nationalities, other managers with different types of football.”
“There is a risk involved. I have to make sure the team I put out on Thursday get a result, and then the team that plays Chelsea is of a certain level.”
We looked at the compensation of clubs successful in the Europa League, compared with those being successful in the Champions League, and the compensation is about 1/7 of what clubs get from success in the Champions League – as a rough rule of thumb.
But if the Europa League is the best Newcastle can do, it’s still better than not competing in Europe at all, but the Champions League is where Newcastle will want to be – possibly even next season, although in England it’s hard to qualify, compared with other countries.
In which other country has a club won the Champions League and yet failed to qualify for the competition next season, because they were outside the qualifying positions in their country?
It’s happened only twice and only in England – Liverpool did that in 2005, and Chelsea last season, and that’s never happened in any other country, which illustrates just how good the Premier League is these days.
Maybe UEFA could grant one more place from England in the Champions League – that would not only be good but it would also seem to be fair.
It would also help Newcastle. 😀
What do you think?
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org