Newcastle issued a statement yesterday that basically said the Telegraph were lying when they said the Telegraph said they had an interpretation of the UEFA rules should Rangers and Newcastle in the future qualify for Europe.
The Telegraph issued their own statement today saying they were not lying and that UEFA had referred them to article 3 of the UEFA rules – and they interpreted those rules.
This is the article in question.
3.01 To ensure the integrity of the UEFA club competitions, the following criteria apply:
a) no club participating in a UEFA club competition may, either directly or indirectly:
i) hold or deal in the securities or shares of any other club participating in a UEFA club competition
ii) be a member of any other club participating in a UEFA club competition,
iii) be involved in any capacity whatsoever in the management, administration and/or sporting performance of any other club participating in a UEFA club competition, or
iv) have any power whatsoever in the management, administration and/or sporting performance of any other club participating in a UEFA club competition
b) no one may simultaneously be involved, either directly or indirectly, in any capacity whatsoever in the management, administration and/or sporting performance of more than one club participating in a UEFA club competition
c) no individual or legal entity may have control or influence over more than one club participating in a UEFA club competition, such control or influence being defined in this context as:
i) holding a majority of the shareholders’ voting rights;
ii) having the right to appoint or remove a majority of the members of the administrative, management or supervisory body of the club;
iii) being a shareholder and alone controlling a majority of the shareholders’ voting rights pursuant to an agreement entered into with other shareholders of the club; or
iv) being able to exercise by any means a decisive influence in the decision-making of the club.
3.02 If two or more clubs fail to meet the criteria aimed at ensuring the integrity of the competition, only one of them may be admitted to a UEFA club competition, in accordance with the following criteria (applicable in descending order):
a) the club which qualifies on sporting merit for the more prestigious UEFA club competition (i.e., in descending order: UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League);
b) the club which has the highest priority access by virtue of its performance in its top domestic league championship and as indicated in the 2012/2013 access list (Annex Ia);
c) the club which has the best club coefficient ranking as established in accordance with paragraph 9.02.
Clubs that are not admitted are replaced in accordance with paragraph 2.11.
Our simple interpretation of these rules for Rangers and Newcastle, should they both qualify for Europe in the future, and Mike Ashley has controlling interest in both clubs, is covered in 3.02 above and states as the first priority:
“the club which qualifies on sporting merit for the more prestigious UEFA club competition (i.e., in descending order: UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League”
So if a club qualifies for the Champions League – even the early knock-out rounds – then that club takes precedence.
So which club between Rangers and Newcastle has the best chance of qualifying for the Champions League?
Here’s how the clubs in the SPL qualify for Europe this season:
Scottish Premiership Champions
Champions League qualifying round 2 (Champions pathway)
Scottish Cup winners
Europa League qualifying round 2
Scottish Premiership runners-up
Europa League qualifying round 2
Scottish Premiership third place
Europa League qualifying round 1
The only way into the Champions League in Scotland is to be the Champions, but there are several ways to qualify for the Europa League.
The second qualifier above in 3.02 section b – says it’s the club with the best performance in its own domestic league.
Newcastle have almost no chance of qualifying for the Champions League in England, so in the future if Rangers qualify for that competition we would have a chance only if we qualified by winning the Premier League.
That’s because we would be top of our domestic league like Rangers – and then and only then would the UEFA coefficient of the clubs be the decider – as in 3.02 section c) above come into play.
And if both clubs make the Europa League then which of the clubs between Rangers and Newcastle are likely to have a better record in their local league?
So from what we can tell by studying the current UEFA rules, Rangers would seem to have the better chance of qualifying for the Champions League and also for the Europa League.
If Newcastle qualify for the Europa League and Rangers have qualified for either European competition, then Rangers will get in – via the above priorities.
The only way Newcastle seem to have any chance of Europe is if we qualify for the Champions League and Rangers don’t.
Those have to be very low odds.
Or are we missing something – it’s certainly not easy working it all out via Article 3.
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