I’ve personally never been a fan of the way in which football governing bodies rank teams both club & internationally. It’s very clear that these rankings coefficients & seeds are placed to put more emphasis’ on the greater, larger sides.
Internationally Scotland, Ireland & Wales in my opinion suffer by earning few co efficiency points, leading to lower seeded places. This leads to a difficult struggle to gain qualifications and this is applied the same through club football.
I remember we as champions of Scotland won against Dinamo Moscow & went onto face Arsenal who the season before not weren’t champions of England, they finished 4th in the table. A clear sign that draws are placed for the benefit of “larger” sides.
Looking at our own recent history it’s interesting to judge our European performances by viewing our co efficiency points gained, season by season. These can be viewed by following the below link to the official UEFA website.
Please bear in mind that “Clubs’ coefficients are determined by the sum of all points won in the previous five years, plus 20% of the association coefficient over the same period”
Season 2008/2009 –
Directly qualifying for UEFA Champions League against Aalborg, Manchester Utd & Villarreal.
(Record W1 D2 L3) – Co Efficiency Points = 7.375
Season 2009/2010 –
After defeating Dinamo Moscow 2-1 on agg, we dropped out of the Champions League after a 5-1 agg defeat by Arsenal.
We entered the Europa League drawing Hapoel Tel Aviv, Rapid Vienna & Hamburg.
(Record W1 D3 L2) – Co Efficiency Points = 5.533
Season 2010/2011 –
After a 4-2 agg loss by Braga. We then faced defeat again at the hands of FC Utrecht again, losing 4-2 in the Europa League qualifier.
(Record W2 L2) – Co Efficiency Points = 2.220
Season 2011/2012 –
UEFA awarded Celtic a 3-0 win for both legs against FC Sion as the Swiss side fielded ineligible players.
We entered the Europa League drawing Atletico Madrid, Udinese & Rennes.
(Record W1 D3 L2) – Co Efficiency Points = 5.550
Season 2012/2013 –
Wins against Helsinki & Helsingborg’s saw us enter the Champions’ League group stage drawn against Spartak Moscow, Benfica & Barcelona, qualifying with 10 points and entering the last 16.
(Record W3 D1 L2) – Co Efficiency Points = 11.660 (Ongoing)
So after what it seems a barren spell in Europe considering the two years before we had reached the last 16 of the Champions’ League, this season we have performed above all expectations. After 3 successive away wins, a close encounter away against Barcelona and memorable wins against Barcelona & Spartak Moscow.
We enter the last draw on 20th December however even before playing this game our Co Efficiency Points far exceed any of the previous 4 seasons and this should go a long way to helping with further competition draws.
With easier draws, comes hopefully more chance of qualifying leading to larger revenue streams (both Celtic and Scotland)
Consider the draws given to other 4th seeded teams such as Man City & Montpellier. Should either team have a more detailed European history, there would be no chance that both teams would be 4th seeds. As they were they received a difficult task in moving forward in the competition with both teams also failing to enter the Europa League from 3rd place.
With the added Co Efficiency points from this season, this should hopefully help Celtic get a higher seeding and easier draws for future competitions. The other added effect being the exposure European football gives a club in terms of player additions, revenue & excitement for supporters.
Many congratulations to Neil Lennon and everyone involved on a remarkable achievement .