Hold on tight for a new season of math. Because the coming year will be more important than ever for the Belgian coefficient in Europe. Antwerp, Anderlecht and KAA Gent will soon be able to give the figure a crucial push.
Belgium under the spell of the coefficient.
We say it with the necessary sense of exaggeration, but administrators and supporters are indeed excessively fascinated by the figure (and especially the consequences).
Since July, there has even been a special Twitter account to send all developments concerning the coefficient to the world. In less than a month, the page gained more than 1,500 followers.
Let’s repeat the basics again.
A country’s UEFA coefficient determines the distribution of European tickets and is calculated on the basis of the results of the past five years.
A direct ticket to the Champions League group stage requires a place in the top 10 of the UEFA ranking. Only our country dropped to 13th place last season, four places lower than a year earlier.
The consequence? The future champion will have to play preliminary rounds to get to the championship ball. The other tickets will also decrease in value.
Both sporting and financial potential is a big blow through the bill. Certainly with the future renewed Champions League (from 2024/2025, with even bigger fat pots) in mind.
However, there is also good news: at the start of this football year, our dramatic 2017/2018 European season (with barely 2,600 points) ended. As a result, Belgium is currently still virtually in 10th place.
To maintain that position, it is crucial to reach the European group stage with as many representatives as possible to be able to collect points there.
Club Brugge, Union and KAA Gent are already certain of six midweek matches, Anderlecht and Antwerp must follow in the interest of the homeland.
In all European competitions – including the Conference League – a win is good for 2 points and a draw for 1. With the possibly feasible opponents in those groups, there is therefore an opportunity to harvest. In addition, there are also bonus points for group winners and runner-ups in the Europe and Conference League.
Bonus on competitors
In the battle for the top 10, Scotland, Austria, Serbia and Norway will become the main competitors for our country. Normally Russia was included, but their European ban means a future free fall in the rankings.
Compared to some rivals, Belgium already has an edge after the first preliminary rounds. Scotland already saw Motherwell and Dundee United die, Serbia lost FK Čukarički and Radnički Niš. Norway also saw a pawn fall over with Lillestrøm (thanks to Antwerp).
Hopefully all five of those with a Belgian flag will still be standing next Thursday. For frost, for freedom and for the coefficient.
OVERVIEW OF OUR COMPETITORS
- Scotland: Celtic (CL group stage), Glasgow (CL preliminary round), Hearts (EL preliminary round)
- Austria: Salzburg (CL group stage), Austria Wien (EL preliminary round), Sturm Graz (EL preliminary round), Wolfsberger (CoL preliminary round), Rapid Wien (CoL preliminary round)
- Serbia: Red Star Belgrade (preliminary round CL), Partizan Belgrade (preliminary round CoL)
- Norway: Bodø/Glimt (CL preliminary), Molde (CoL preliminary), Viking (CoL preliminary)