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Is the champions league good for English football

by Walter Broeckx

A question that is being raised is the fact that when Uefa will introduce the financial fair play rules how this will effect the big teams. It has been said that Uefa will back down when it comes to excluding big teams as it cannot afford to play the Champions League without MIOU, Real Mad, Barcelona and the KGB in Fulham.  I will also try to have a look on this with some information I gathered on what CL football means in a country that has almost no chance anymore to win the champions league. But I will keep this for another piece as otherwise I risk you might fall asleep halfway this article.  Which you could do anyway off course.

First some historical facts and statistics. I wil try to see if the Champions League has changed European football. Well I don’t need the whole article to tell you it did change European football a lot. I don’t hink there is anyone out there who is not aware of the fact that the CL has an enormous financial impact on the teams and for that person out there who didn’t know it: just believe me it has. But I was more thinking on how it has changed it for the different countries that are playing in the European competitions.  If we take a look at the finales being in played in 18 years Champion League we come up with this numbers:

Italian teams : Inter, Juventus and Milan (11 appearances in total)

Spanish teams: Barcelona , Real and Valencia (8 appearances in total)

English teams: Arsenal, MU, Liverpool and Chelsea (7 appearances in total)

German teams: Bayern, Dormund and Leverkusen (5 appearances in total)

French teams: Marseille and Monaco (2 appearances in total)

Portugal: Porto (1 appearance in total)

Netherlands: Ajax (2 appearances in total)

We also can see that most finals was between teams from the first 4 countries and the other countries like France,  Portugal and Dutch teams are more or less exceptions to the general rule. So that’s a total of only 7 countries and 17 different teams that have been represented in the Champions League finals.

The winners come from Spain with 5 cups, Italy 5 cups, England 3 cups, Germany 2 cups, and both Holland, France and Portugal with 1 cup to show. We can also note that it is now some 6 years that there has been another team in the final not coming from the big four Italy, Spain, England and Germany. That means there have been 7 countries that have won the CL and the other 46 members of Uefa are just, well filling up the gaps between the start of the tournament and the final.

So the CL is looking to be a bit of a boring and predictable tournament if you are not living in one of those 4 countries. And from those big 4 there is only one country that is trying to sort things out already in financial matters and that is Germany.

But is there any difference between the CL and the former Europa Cup I? If we take the former Europa Cup 1 we come up with a slightly different number. England 8 cups, Italy 7 cups, Spain 7 cups, Holland 5 cups, Germany 4 cups, Portugal 3 cups, Scotland 1 cup, Rumania 1 cup and Yugoslavia 1 cup. So this means 9 winners from different countries.  But in that period of time there was only 13 countries  that had a team in the final in the 37 finals that have been played. In total some 36 different teams.

So we could ask ourselves if the Champions League was a good thing for English clubs when you just take the numbers of cups that they have won? Because we must not forget, and how could we as it is  25 years ago that the Heysel drama took place, that in the Europa Cups  there have been some 5 years without an English team playing in it. And in the years before the Heysel drama there were a lot of English teams winning it as in that period of time England was a very powerful player in Europe. It was dominating football in Europe in fact.

In the Champions League the English teams have a 16 % succes rate and in the former Europacup 1 they had a 21 % chance of winning it. We also have to keep in mind that there have been years, most in the early years of the Europacup 1, that the English champion did not always entered the competition. As I am not that old yet I really don’t know why the English teams sometimes chose not to enter the European competition. If anyone could shed a light on this I would be delighted to have some more information on this.  So in fact the we could assume that English teams could have won more Europacup 1 finals if they had been able to have participated every year. If it would have dominated like in the years before the Heysel drama the 21 % could have gone up to about 25 %.

So if you look at the favourite thing a lot of people in the UK judge everything (winning cups) the Champions League has not been an good thing for English football.

One could also say that for Dutch football is was also a very bad thing. I think that for a small country it was rather a very big achievement to have won 5 cups in that period and doing better than Germany. The reason I mention Holland is because of the fact that I will use them in a next article to see how the football fans react on what happens in the Champions League. Are they as interested in the games whoever plays? Or do they lose their interest at some stage of the competition.

I will try to give an answer in a next article.

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Commentary notes: If you want to comment please have a quick read of this, to make sure you comment is published.

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8 comments to Is the champions league good for English football

  • Hurf27

    Funny you should say this.
    I was just thinking about this today.
    As much as Arsenal consistently qualify for the Champions League.
    Arsenal will definitely beat every team in front of them except:
    Man United, Chelsea, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Inter & AC Milan.
    As financially beneficial as a Super League may seem.
    We’d just get our asses kicked regularly.
    Unless Arsene drops his vanity youth project and puts up where we belong with the elite.

  • DarkPrince

    This was a really boring article….

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Why did you write this article?

    The tenor of the sequence of articles you are writing would not be out of place if you were a paid gun of a secessionist EPL group of billionaire hoods.

  • Gf60

    Walter. The early days of Europe…1955 and 56..the FA banned English clubs (first Chelsea and then MFU)from taking part. Their thinking then was as broad minded as it is now.

  • AK

    when Arsenal are knocked out of the competition i really loose interest in champions league…

  • gooner80

    champions league promotes the premier league when our teams play well, it opens up the fan base of arsenal and allows us to play the best teams around Europe.

    it does however highlight how technically inferior some of the prem teams are, i think arsenal game is suited to Europe. i could honestly see the spuds doing an everton and crashing out early because it is a different game compared to prem, i could see arry treating each game like a cup final and will suffer in the league and since they lost to a team like portsmouth they are in for trouble because some of the so called minnows and russian teams can cause huge problems

    i think part of the reason that man u and liverpool have such a large world wide fan base is down to the success achieved in Europe.

    All the big 4 european teams have a little spell of winning or getting to the final, i think the english teams turn has now gone and it looks like spain for a few years.

    ps it would be nice for the emirates to hold a EUROPEAN FINAL

  • zola

    arsenal the best foot ball play in the world expet barsa,so next time arssenal bought players the chapions leag wine in the other club

  • Sean

    The answer to the question is a resounding no.

    We all know in June that Arsenal will be in the last 16 so why don’t we just cut to the chase?
    It’s the footballing equivalent of the 12 inch single or the spin off film of a TV sitcom that lasts two hours instead of the usual half-an-hour…..’Please end’!

    On the very rare occasions I catch any of it, I’m always convinced that even Sky TV lose interest round about March.

    All who have the unenviable chore of sitting through 2-0 home wins against Porto/Roma/Athletico Madrid every November are deserving of them and if Arsenal fans genuinely hate Tottenham they should be delighted that they too are going to have the same ho-hum opportunity.

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