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The W - Football - Question about European Futbol Leagues
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Big Bad
Scrapple








Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 1 day
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.54
Excuse the rantings of an ignorant North American, but I'm stumped as to how European football works. I know that every country has their own league, and the major soccer powers (England, Germany, Spain and Italy) have their 'Premier' leagues that each team qualifies for on a yearly basis. My question is what is the FA Cup, UEFA Cup and the myriad of other tourneys going at the same time? Postseason events for the champs of each country's league?



Over 1500 posts and still never a Wiener of the Day!






Oliva: You are the weakest link! Goodbye!

Stewie: Ahahaha. Oh God, that's funny. That's really funny. You write your own material? Do you? Because that is so fresh. 'You are the weakest link. Goodbye!' You know I've never heard anyone make that joke before. You're the first. I've never heard anyone reference that outside program before. Because that's what she says on the show, right? Hmmm? 'You are the weakest link. Goodbye!' And ye...ye..yet you've taken it and....and used it out of context to insult me in this everyday situation. What a clever, smart girl you must be. To come up with a joke like that all by yourself. Mmmmm...that's so fresh too. Any Titanic jokes you want to throw at me as long as we're hitting these phenomena at the height of their popularity. Mmmm? Cuz i'm here God you're so funny!


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dMr
Andouille








Since: 2.11.02
From: Edinburgh, Scotland

Since last post: 45 days
Last activity: 23 hours
#2 Posted on
Each country has (usually) 4 domestic divisions from which the top teams are promoted and the bottom ones relegated on an annual basis. In addition to these leagues, each country runs a domestic cup competition which teams from all of these divisions enter, in addition to some non-league teams.

The FA cup is simply the English domestic cup competition. Actually in Scotland and England there's 2 domestic cup competitions in each but the 'League cup' is often treated as secondary by the larger teams who just field youth players for the first few rounds.

On top of these domestic competitions there are also two European competitions, the Champions League, and the UEFA cup which are also run annualy.

Qualification for the champions league is achieved by finishing high enough in your own domestic league. Just how many teams from each country get in depends on said countries 'coefficient' which is calculated based on past performance of club sides in European competition. Big leagues like Spain have four entrants, Scotland 2 etc.

The 2 or 3 teams (again depending on coefficient) finishing directly below the Champions League qualifiers in their domestic leagues go into the UEFA cup along with the domestic cup winners. If the domestic cup winners are in the Champions league already then the runners up in the cup get into the UEFA cup instead.

Things then get really ooky and complicated with teams losing in early rounds of the Champions League dropping into the UEFA cup and it all becomes a horrible mish mash, with the UEFA cup probably being devalued in many peoples eyes as a result.

Oh, and both European competitions run concurrently with the major domestic leagues, though the likes of Russia tend to be out of sync because their weathers a bit too sucky to be playing football at the same time as the rest of us.

Hope that helps. I know it came out a bit rambled but its curiously hard to put into words something you'e always taken for granted.




Big Bad
Scrapple








Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 1 day
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.54
So the Champions League runs concurrently with the regular league play? Isn't that really hard on the players of the Champ League teams, playing twice the number of games a week?



Over 1550 posts and still never a Wiener of the Day!






Oliva: You are the weakest link! Goodbye!

Stewie: Ahahaha. Oh God, that's funny. That's really funny. You write your own material? Do you? Because that is so fresh. 'You are the weakest link. Goodbye!' You know I've never heard anyone make that joke before. You're the first. I've never heard anyone reference that outside program before. Because that's what she says on the show, right? Hmmm? 'You are the weakest link. Goodbye!' And ye...ye..yet you've taken it and....and used it out of context to insult me in this everyday situation. What a clever, smart girl you must be. To come up with a joke like that all by yourself. Mmmmm...that's so fresh too. Any Titanic jokes you want to throw at me as long as we're hitting these phenomena at the height of their popularity. Mmmm? Cuz i'm here God you're so funny!


JayJayDean
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: Seattle, WA

Since last post: 9 days
Last activity: 21 hours
AIM:  
Y!:
#4 Posted on
There really aren't that many Champions League games to be played. There are three qualifying rounds that are home-and-home series among the lowest rated Champions League qualifiers. Some teams get placed in the first round, some in the second, and some in the third, depending on their country's coefficient.

The qualifying rounds are played over a seven-week period, with one game per week. So if a team were to advance out of the first qualifying round to reach the group stage they would've played 6 games. Last year none did and only three teams that started in second round qualifying made it to the group stage.

They changed the Champions League format this year so now the 32 teams in the Group stage play in eight four-team groups, with the first and second-place finishers in each group advancing to the knockout stage. Each team plays the others in its group home-and-away, so there are 6 games in this stage regardless.

The sixteen teams in the knockout stage then play home-and-home with the team with the highest aggregate score advancing to the next round. (Unlike the World Cup, where it's one game per round.) The teams that meet in the final play a single game on a neutral site.

The team that wins the Champions League will likely play 13 games in the group stage and knockout stage. Not too many, and the group stage is 6 games stretched from late September to early December. The knockout stage starts Feb. 24/25 and games are played every two weeks until the final, so it's not too taxing on the clubs.

I think the oddest thing is that in the FA Cup if there is a draw the teams play a rematch instead of overtime. I remember when Manchester United won the Treble they had to play either the FA Cup final or semi-final against Arsenal (I think) twice, while trying to clinch the Premiership and win the Champions League. Somehow I don't see any of our American sports adopting that practice.



Washington Huskies, 2003 Pac-10 football champs. Coming soon.
Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1208 days
Last activity: 1005 days
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
OK....so the Champions League and the UEFA Cup is running concurrently with the regular season? How then, does one qualify for the European competitions, by winning the previous season?

All of this is very complicated.

Plus, if anybody can identify in one sentence why Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan are part of Europe for International Qualifying? (Israel is pretty easy to figure out; I can see the Israel-Syria match right now...)



""I haven't seen a starting nine like that since the '62 Mets"br>- Dennis Miller on the Democratic Presidential Candidates
JayJayDean
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: Seattle, WA

Since last post: 9 days
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#6 Posted on
    Originally posted by Grimis
    OK....so the Champions League and the UEFA Cup is running concurrently with the regular season? How then, does one qualify for the European competitions, by winning the previous season?


Yup. dMr pretty much summed it up. Countries who've had lots of success in club competition, like Spain, England, and Germany get more bids into the Champions League. For example:

Last year's top four in La Liga (the Spanish League) were, in order, Real Madrid, Real Sociedad, Deportivo, and Celta de Vigo. Real Madrid and Real Sociedad get placed, as the top two, directly into the group stage among the final 32. Deportivo and Celta de Vigo are placed in the third (last) qualifying leg, so the need to win a home-and-home (I preseume against a winner from the second qualiying leg) to reach the group stage.

A LOT depends on the country's coefficient. Portugal and Russia each get two teams in the Champions League. However, since Portugal has a better coefficient, Porto, their league champ gets placed in the group stage and Benfica, the runner-up, gets placed in the third qualifying leg. Russia's league Champ, Lokomotiv, is placed in the third qualifying leg, while their league runner-up is placed in the second qualifying leg (meaning they have to win two rounds to reach the final 32.)

Teams whose countries have the lowest coefficients (Ireland, Finland, Armenia, Estonia, and Wales among them) get placed in the first qualifying leg. It IS all very complicated.

The UEFA Cup qualifying is the second-tier of league finishers and the Cup winners from each country. Spain's UEFA Cup qualifiers are Valencia (finished 5th in league), Barcelona (finished 6th in league), and Mallorca (won Spanish Cup). The lesser leagues have their first-place team in Champions League and second-place team and Cup winner in UEFA Cup.

(edited by JayJayDean on 30.6.03 0823)

Washington Huskies, 2003 Pac-10 football champs. Coming soon.
dMr
Andouille








Since: 2.11.02
From: Edinburgh, Scotland

Since last post: 45 days
Last activity: 23 hours
#7 Posted on

    Originally posted by Big Bad
    So the Champions League runs concurrently with the regular league play? Isn't that really hard on the players of the Champ League teams, playing twice the number of games a week?


Most teams with a realistic chance of winning start off in the group stage and have to play just 17 games to win the thing. On top of that the rteal big players have a ridiculous amount of mony and can thus afford to keep almost 2 teams worth of players capable of playing at the highest level.

Grimis: Because the European competitions run concurrently it means that qualification has to be achieved the year before. Given that theres only really a month between seasons its usually a pretty good indicator of who the top teams are in any case.

European football is much more consistant than many American sports with regards who the top teams are from season to season. Obviously you get the odd unexpected performance from teams but generally the best clubs stay at the top for a fair old time.



JayJayDean
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: Seattle, WA

Since last post: 9 days
Last activity: 21 hours
AIM:  
Y!:
#8 Posted on

    Originally posted by dMr

    Most teams with a realistic chance of winning start off in the group stage and have to play just 17 games to win the thing.



I actually looked it up on uefa.com and they have changed the Champions League yet again, eliminating the second group stage and expanding the knockout round to 16 teams, so they would actually play only 13 games to win the Cup.



Washington Huskies, 2003 Pac-10 football champs. Coming soon.
Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1208 days
Last activity: 1005 days
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
All of this is enough to make my head spin...maybe this is why the only soccer I ever pay attention to is the World Cup every four years and the Baltimore Blast from time to time...



""I haven't seen a starting nine like that since the '62 Mets"br>- Dennis Miller on the Democratic Presidential Candidates
Big Bad
Scrapple








Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 1 day
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.54


    European football is much more consistant than many American sports with regards who the top teams are from season to season. Obviously you get the odd unexpected performance from teams but generally the best clubs stay at the top for a fair old time.


Yeah, because North American sports aren't at all like that. coughcoughYankeesBravesDevilsRedWingsLakerscoughcough



Over 1550 posts and still never a Wiener of the Day!






Oliva: You are the weakest link! Goodbye!

Stewie: Ahahaha. Oh God, that's funny. That's really funny. You write your own material? Do you? Because that is so fresh. 'You are the weakest link. Goodbye!' You know I've never heard anyone make that joke before. You're the first. I've never heard anyone reference that outside program before. Because that's what she says on the show, right? Hmmm? 'You are the weakest link. Goodbye!' And ye...ye..yet you've taken it and....and used it out of context to insult me in this everyday situation. What a clever, smart girl you must be. To come up with a joke like that all by yourself. Mmmmm...that's so fresh too. Any Titanic jokes you want to throw at me as long as we're hitting these phenomena at the height of their popularity. Mmmm? Cuz i'm here God you're so funny!


Bullitt
Shot in the dark








Since: 11.1.02
From: Houston

Since last post: 17 days
Last activity: 17 days
#11 Posted on

    Originally posted by JayJayDean
    Deportivo and Celta de Vigo are placed in the third (last) qualifying leg, so the need to win a home-and-home (I preseume against a winner from the second qualiying leg) to reach the group stage


This is most upsetting to me...seeing as Depor will get one of the Top 8 seeds (and, therefore, avoid having to play the likes of Man U, Real Madrid, AC Milan, etc.) in the first group stage..

They haven't officially qualified for the Champions League yet, but would be ranked the 8th top team in the tournament!




You kids like the rock 'n roll music? Then here's Matthew Good.
dMr
Andouille








Since: 2.11.02
From: Edinburgh, Scotland

Since last post: 45 days
Last activity: 23 hours
#12 Posted on

    Originally posted by JayJayDean

      Originally posted by dMr

      Most teams with a realistic chance of winning start off in the group stage and have to play just 17 games to win the thing.



    I actually looked it up on uefa.com and they have changed the Champions League yet again, eliminating the second group stage and expanding the knockout round to 16 teams, so they would actually play only 13 games to win the Cup.



My bad, forgot about that. Personally I prefered the goog old days where the group stages were for the last eight and teams qualified by, you know, winning games, but it appears the league from which one is from is of more importance now alas.


Yeah, because North American sports aren't at all like that. coughcoughYankeesBravesDevilsRedWingsLakerscoughcough


I was thinking more of American football where you see recently dominant teams like the Cowboys flailing, and vice versa, but even in Baseball and to a lesser extent hockey you see 'smaller' teams achieving success (Anaheim, Minnesota, Arizona, Florida etc.). But I take your point that the biggest teams still stay pretty darned big the whole time.


This is most upsetting to me...seeing as Depor will get one of the Top 8 seeds (and, therefore, avoid having to play the likes of Man U, Real Madrid, AC Milan, etc.) in the first group stage..

They haven't officially qualified for the Champions League yet, but would be ranked the 8th top team in the tournament!



Whats even worse is that Deportivo dont have to worry about playing any other Spanish team in the group stages, so they benefit twice simply because of the league they play in.

My team, Rangers recently drew Bayern Munich and Valencia in the FIRST group stage. Both of those teams went on to the semis that year. Not exactly a system which allows the lesser clubs a platform from which to build upon.



Bullitt
Shot in the dark








Since: 11.1.02
From: Houston

Since last post: 17 days
Last activity: 17 days
#13 Posted on
    Originally posted by dMr
    Whats even worse is that Deportivo dont have to worry about playing any other Spanish team in the group stages, so they benefit twice simply because of the league they play in.



True enough...but after a 38-week domestic season, which sees Deportivo play Real, Valencia, Atletico, Barca, etc., that's a well-earned break.

(edited by Bullitt on 1.7.03 1200)



You kids like the rock 'n roll music? Then here's Matthew Good.
JayJayDean
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: Seattle, WA

Since last post: 9 days
Last activity: 21 hours
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#14 Posted on
Also, it's reasonable that Deportivo can skip the Spanish teams until the knockout stage after they got jobbed by the draw in 2002. They beat Man United TWICE in the first group stage, then had to play them again in the quarters and got beat twice themselves. Hopefully the new format will eliminate any chance of that happening again.



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Gavintzu
Summer sausage








Since: 2.1.02
From: Calgary ... Alberta Canada

Since last post: 2805 days
Last activity: 2805 days
#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
To go back a bit to the domestic leagues.

The local cups are an awesome addition to the season, because they add a nice variety. Every team in the four divisions get entered every year, so you get some hilariously one-sided but exhilarating matchups. Some crap fourth division team made up of part-time players wins a few games early in the tourney and then gets to play Liverpool. Sure the outcome is never in doubt, but the 400 people who go to watch the crap fourth division team play every week have an actual chance to watch them go head-to-head with the best in the world. Just like in Rocky.

Oh, and did I say the outcome is never in doubt? Sometimes it is. My father is a huge Caledonian Thistle fan, and when they defeated Celtic 3-1 to toss them out of the Scottish Cup, I don't think I've ever seen him so happy.

Oh, and with regards to understanding how the European Cup system works ... just drink. Drink heavily. When you have reached a certain Zen level of drunkenness, it all falls into place and makes sense.





(edited by Gavintzu on 1.7.03 1928)

Any man who hates small dogs and children can't be all bad.
A-MOL
Frankfurter








Since: 26.6.02
From: York, England

Since last post: 3813 days
Last activity: 3755 days
#16 Posted on
Another way to get into Europe is through the Fair Play League. The top countries of this League (based on bookings and sendings off) get put into the hat and pulled out. Whoever is the cleanest team in that league gets in. This is how Man City got in this year, despite finishing with the fifth best disciplinary record becuase all those above them had already qualified.

Stuff like this is making the European competitions a farce. I remember the good old days where the winners of the league got into the Champion's League, the runners-up into the UEFA Cup and the Cup winners got into the Cup Winner's Cup. Much simpler. And don't even get me started on the Inter-Toto Cup...



...full of energy. Multi-orgasmic, if you will, in a cosmic sort of way."
TheCow
Landjager








Since: 3.1.02
From: Knoxville, TN

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#17 Posted on
Somehow, I think that the only concrete thing that I've pulled from this is just to follow one team religiously, and worry about what tourney they might get into when the time nears.

Is that even close to right?







Which Neglected Mario Character Are You?

JayJayDean
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: Seattle, WA

Since last post: 9 days
Last activity: 21 hours
AIM:  
Y!:
#18 Posted on
It's just such a different animal from the way we do sports here in the US. The thing that actually helped me understand some of the "soccer thing" the most was FIFA 2003 for PS2.

I know England has the Premier League and lower divisions, the FA Cup and the League Cup, but I also saw (on bbc.com, I think) that one year Liverpool won 5 trophies! Are there a bunch of other Cups you can win in England that no one ever talks about?



Washington Huskies, 2003 Pac-10 football champs. Coming soon.
A-MOL
Frankfurter








Since: 26.6.02
From: York, England

Since last post: 3813 days
Last activity: 3755 days
#19 Posted on
Okay, for an English team:

League Championship: Easy enough. There are 4 professional leagues: Premiership, Div. 1 - 3

FA Cup: English domestic cup, played for by all league and a significant number of non-league teams.

League Cup: Cup played for just by the 92 league teams. Not seen as a prestigious club, unless, of course, you win it.

Charity Shield: A game played at the start of every season between the Premiership and FA Cup winners

Champion's League: European cup that you qualify for by finishing in the top three or four of the Premiership (depending on the year). The number of places for each country depends on the recent success of the clubs in the competition.

UEFA Cup: Anyone finishing above seventh, FA and League Cup winners. The number of places etc....

Playoffs: The people who finish in between 3rd and 6th in Div. 1-3 play in a mini-tournament for promotion to the league above.

Man U managed to win the Premiership, FA Cup and Champions League in 1999. The year after, Liverpool won the FA, UEFA and League Cup.

There are also cups for minor leagues like the LDV Vans Shield and the FA Vase, but no-one really pays attention.

If I remember correctly, FIFA games have league, domestic cup and Europe (Sorry if this is wrong. I am a commited Pro Evolution player now). If you want to fully understand, try Championship Manager. A season or two of that and it will become second nature.

TheCow, yes, this is usually the best policy. Even better, support Leeds Utd like me, so all cup competitions become irrelevant after the first round.

(edited by A-MOL on 4.7.03 1058)


...full of energy. Multi-orgasmic, if you will, in a cosmic sort of way."
Big Bad
Scrapple








Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 1 day
#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.54
And to think, we in North America are confused by the BCS.



Over 1600 posts and still never a Wiener of the Day!


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