View Full Version : UEFA Champions League
12-05-2001, 05:29 PM
How exactly does this work? I get the gist that it's made up of the best teams in the various european leagues, but is it just a tournament of the league champs each year? Is it somehow a round robin that goes all year, or is it just a monthlong tourney? Is it different teams each year? I've searched on the net, but I haven't found a site that had a really good explaination of the basics.
12-05-2001, 05:38 PM
It's a league, then another league, then a knockout competition.
12-05-2001, 05:42 PM
I think this explains it fairly well:
from the UEFA site (www.uefa.com)
The UEFA Champions League is UEFA’s most prestigious club competition. Prior to the 1992/93 season, it was known as the European Champion Clubs’ Cup, and was first staged in the 1955/56 season.
Originally, the competition was organised on a knock-out basis. However, the format was changed in 1992/93, and now includes a qualifying competition, two group stages and a final knock-out phase of quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final, which is staged at a major European venue at the end of the season.
The UEFA Champions League is open to each national association’s domestic champions, as well as clubs who finish just behind them in the domestic championship table. The number of clubs which can be entered by an association depends on the association’s position in UEFA’s coefficient ranking list.
12-05-2001, 08:48 PM
Basically it was a knockout cup competition for all the club champions of all the different European countries.
This of course is what the European Cup should be about, but only one club from each country means a lot of bid clubs missed out. But, of course, it's all about money. So they devised a way in which lots more clubs could take part, and they devised the league system so that there would be even more games. I think UEFA (the European governing body for football) also wanted to make sure there wouldn't be a breakaway European league with all the top clubs leaving all the smaller clubs to fend for themselves in a second class market.
So, all the European leagues are rated, so those leagues who's clubs do the best in European matches get more entrances. i.e., The Spanish, Italian and English leagues put three or four teams intro the competition each season. Other leagues only contribute one or two.
The teams are split into groups of four, the teams play each other home and away, and the top two teams in each league goes through and they start again with half the number. The top two from THESE go through into the knockout stages, the first of which are the quarter-finals.
Stupid? Damn straight.
But it's all about television revenue.
So that's all right then.
12-06-2001, 12:33 PM
It has to be said that the massive influx of tv revenue from Champions League has made that tournament ferociously competitive and this has drawn even more foreign-to-Europe players in from worldwide as clubs seek to gain an advantge by recruiting the best talent.
It has also changed the nature of several leagues and may lead to the partial breakup of a couple national leagues.
To do well in this competition means immense rewards, Leeds United did well last year but didn't make the final, even so they made an extra £20 mill or so on top of their usual turnover, and its fair to say that winning the final leads to worldwide recognition, serious amounts of franchise selling of souvenirs, an ability to make higher demands of tv companies and pay as you watch tv, it would be realistic to expect that this would add up to over £100 millions to the winner, plus the chance to defend the trophy the following year.
As for the damage that this is doing to domestic leagues, one only has to look at a smaller soccer nation such as Scotland, which has two clubs with huge followings, Celtic and Rangers.
The problem for these clubs is that to do well in Europe, which they qualify for virtually every year, they need good home competition to push them harder, and they need the revenue to finance improvements to their teams.
Scottish soccer does not have enough teams that can genuinely compete against them, and those other clubs are also not big enough to provide the crowds which in turn provide the money.
The answer is that Celtic and Rangers have effectively outgrown their home league(this has been true for at least 20 years) and there is serious discussion about them joining the English Premier League, but this leads to highly charged debates within Scotland, England and Europe, as the Scottish league would be undoubtedly left all the poorer, in England the debate is how would these how would these two clubs join the Premier League unless they replaced English clubs and how should that be done plus a fair few other questions, and in Europe the debate centres around precedents being set and the liklehood of other European National Leagues going the same way, there are plenty of other countries who have a "one or two big fish league" whose teams do pretty badly in European competitions for the very same reasons.
There have been 'flights of fancy' about the possibility of having a European league whose clubs do not play in domestic leagues at all but I think that this would be a non-starter, but only for now - things change.
And I believe Silvio Berlusconi also brought up the idea that national teams competing in the World Cup should be made up of players playing in the pro leagues of that particular country.
This was quite a noble idea coming from an Italian, whose country would benefit the most from such a plan.
12-06-2001, 01:38 PM
Signor Berlusconi has proven links with an Italian company called Media Partners.
Three years ago, Media Partners threatened to disturb the status quo of the UEFA Champions League by forming a breakaway group of 16 teams drawn from Europe's finest. Manchester United and Arsenal were the two English clubs approached to give the proposed new league some muscle.
Naturally this elite league would include AC Milan, a club which is owned by Signor Berlusconi.
One of the proposals put forward by Media partners catered for each of the 16 clubs enjoying an automatic six-year membership in their new set-up, irrespective of how these teams performed in their domestic leagues.
This idea had nothing to do with AC Milan's repeated failure to qualify for the UEFA Champions League around this time, and only a cynic would suggest otherwise.
Signor Berlusconi continues to draw a veil over the origins of his personal fortune. When an Italian TV satirical show dared to suggest that Signor Berlusconi's cash did not come from entirely legal sources, Signor Berlusconi got the programme taken off the air.
This is not to suggest that Signor Berlusconi has, at one time or another, been involved in practices which would be viewed unfavourably by the law.
Only the very cynical would think that.
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