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RabidAl

Europe: The Final Qualification Place

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If we ever get back to having 5 Scottish reps* in European football, should we look at having a more interesting qualification process rather than handing it to 4th in the league?

I was thinking along the lines of using the format they have in the egg-chasing, so 4th would get a home semi-final vs 7th, and 5th at home against 6th, with the final played at the home ground of the highest-finishing team. It would only be 2 fixture dates so could be played alongside the Premiership Play-Off first and second legs. That way qualification for the top 6 would mean something (guarantee of a shot at Europe), and the winner of the bottom 6 would also have a shot at Europe - something to play for other than avoiding relegation.

It could also make the mid-table of a 16-team league more interesting, or it could be introduced now rather than 3rd place in the league be given the place automatically - it may seem unfair to the team finishing 3rd, but they'd benefit from it in other seasons. Is there scope for the League Cup winners being involved in these sort of play-offs?

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It seems that our reps will now get 200,000 euros (c.£150,000) for being knocked out in the first qualifying round of the Europa League:

http://sport.stv.tv/football/clubs/celtic/315702-how-uefas-increased-european-prize-money-will-boost-scottish-clubs/

So, right now, 3rd place in the league gets £1.485million from the SPFL pot, plus £150,000 from the Europa League - not bad!

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*It would require us climbing from 24th up to 15th in the UEFA rankings:

http://www.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles/Download/Regulations/uefaorg/Regulations/02/14/11/74/2141174_DOWNLOAD.pdf

See Annex 1A, p.44 of their 'Regulations of the UEFA Champions' League' document.

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Why would you want a team in the bottom six getting a shot in Europe, when they're clearly not good enough and likely to hurt the Scottish coefficient?

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Winner of the League Cup, not going to runner-up if winner qualifies through other means but first option should be winner only.

Would improve standing of this tournament.

If not used through that then to next ( 4th ) in league,

Can see the merits of your suggested play-off but seems a very gerrymandered process.

Could mean that at split it more beneficial to be 7th than 6th if points gap right and you fancy a shot at play-offs for Europe.....

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I have previously favoured having a Europa League playoff for 4th-7th, particularly if the Premiership was ever expanded to 14 clubs splitting 6/8. As it would give clubs at the top end of the bottom split something to play for. However, it would be complicated by the Scottish Cup Final, and could lead to weaker clubs qualifying.

Slots can't be granted to the League Cup without UEFA permission, only England and France do it and we shouldn't emulate it IMO.

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Why would you want a team in the bottom six getting a shot in Europe, when they're clearly not good enough and likely to hurt the Scottish coefficient?

Well, they probably wouldn't make it through the play-offs and it would make the league a bit more interesting (maybe?) further down the table for longer.

Winner of the League Cup, not going to runner-up if winner qualifies through other means but first option should be winner only.

Would improve standing of this tournament.

If not used through that then to next ( 4th ) in league,

Can see the merits of your suggested play-off but seems a very gerrymandered process.

Could mean that at split it more beneficial to be 7th than 6th if points gap right and you fancy a shot at play-offs for Europe.....

Agree with your comments about the League Cup winners having a shot at European qualification (somehow). It is a gerrymandered process, just thought it might add a little bit extra to the end of the season. Not sure I get your last point though!

I have previously favoured having a Europa League playoff for 4th-7th, particularly if the Premiership was ever expanded to 14 clubs splitting 6/8. As it would give clubs at the top end of the bottom split something to play for. However, it would be complicated by the Scottish Cup Final, and could lead to weaker clubs qualifying.

Slots can't be granted to the League Cup without UEFA permission, only England and France do it and we shouldn't emulate it IMO.

Yeah, the Scottish Cup Final would be an issue (given what we might yet have in store this season...); weaker clubs might qualify which is why I'd probably only want to see it if our co-efficient meant that we'd have 5 Euro reps; League Cup could do with some sort of boost in prestige and don't think UEFA would stand in the way given the precedents that you cite.

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Well, they probably wouldn't make it through the play-offs and it would make the league a bit more interesting (maybe?) further down the table for longer.

Agree with your comments about the League Cup winners having a shot at European qualification (somehow). It is a gerrymandered process, just thought it might add a little bit extra to the end of the season. Not sure I get your last point though!

.

Actually misread part of your playoff.

When first read it saw a greater advantage in being in 7th and claiming a playoff place and being in 6th.....apologises.

Still not convinced though.

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Under the new system which runs for the next 3 years we would need to rise to 15th in the UEFA rankings to get the 5th place and that's not going to happen for at least 4 or 5 years.

The only play off I'd introduce would be the winners of the league cup v 5th in the league or 4th if the cup winner is lower placed and in many years you would need to wait until the Scottish cup final to find out who was playing in the game. The years when the FA Cup final was played before the end of the Premiership took some of the gloss of the final so im not that keen on this at all.

The point re the payments by UEFA misses the big point on costs. St Johnstone lost money even with these payments having to go to Turkey in 2012. UEFA play these games at the most expensive time of the year to hire planes at short notice so you can be looking at close on £100,000 if you need a long distance flight due to needing hire the plane for 48 hours. it might make more sense for UEFA to have their qualifiers at the end of the winter seasons (ie in May/early June) although this would mean the domestic seasons finishing a bit earlier (more free dates in July for domestic games)

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UEFA play these games at the most expensive time of the year to hire planes at short notice so you can be looking at close on £100,000 if you need a long distance flight due to needing hire the plane for 48 hours. it might make more sense for UEFA to have their qualifiers at the end of the winter seasons (ie in May/early June) although this would mean the domestic seasons finishing a bit earlier (more free dates in July for domestic games)

I doubt that would happen unless there was some more fundamental restructuring of the tournament formats.

Later May and June is affected by international breaks and the build-up to WCs and Euros at the moment, and the bigger countries and those along the Mediterranean in particular had a tradition of playing league and cup games into June, then starting late in the summer... the current calendar is already not to their liking on that front, particularly the likes of Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece. This would be worse.

What would of course be a solution would be to return to some for of regionalisation, at least in the opening EL preliminary rounds. This was always the case in the UEFA Cup and was also "informally" the case in the early EL seasons. You could split the continent into 3 sections, and then there'd be no need for teams from Britain, Scandinavia or Iberia to trek into Asia or the Caucasus, or vice versa.

Given we're not going to return to having 2 CL slots any time soon I think the current division of slots should continue.

No point giving 2 of 3 EL slots to cups even if UEFA would allow it.

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Of the nations mentioned above on Greece would at present have any teams in qualifying round 2 and while playing rounds 1 and 2 in May might work (A lot of these nations are on summer leagues anyway and will have qualified the October before) some form of regionalisation would work, and going by recent years help the Scottish teams who seem to do ok against Western European teams but fail to beat teams from the former Soviet block nations.

In a way it would also be better to drop the group stage and just have a knock out competition minus the champions league drop outs. Maybe even as a third level European competition, with the Champions league drop outs and top nations having entry to the Europa league in its current form from the group stage.

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dont give it to the league cup or play off for it. we need to put our strongest teams forward and the league doesnt lie. even tho my own team would have benefited under the old cup runners up system we realy can do without diddy teams embarasing us. like getting malmo'd 9-0!

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