Author Topic: The Champions League of Tomorrow  (Read 2623 times)

Offline Max

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The Champions League of Tomorrow
« on: January 06, 2013, 05:03:58 PM »
Two years ago at the lunch before the R32 draw I put forward the idea of developing the UCL to a more similar format as what we have today in UCL for men (know as MUCL, as opposed to WUCL?). Present at the table was at least Eddie of Glasgow and a representative of Tel Aviv. Group stage with 4 groups of 4 was my suggestion.

Last year at the 32 draw a guest speaker - a representative of Twente - echoed this idea. She said that more international games were needed, and that a group stage would give the tournament further prestige.

Now let us examine the potential problem:

1. Too large differences in standard. Increasing amount of 7-0 games.
- I argue that we already have these games in the current model. Definitely in R32, and even sometimes in R16.
At a group stage with 16 teams the weakest "R32" teams would have been already eliminated in qualifying. So even if Lyon and Wolfsburg would still beat teams like Zorkiy or Cluj with a big margin, these games would not be all too many.

2. More games (problem: costs and fitting it into the calendar).
Example of proposed model:
QF R1: Champions of 26 lowest ranked nations
QF R2: 13 winners of QF 1 and Champions of nations ranked 9-23
QF R3: RU of top 5 + Champions of nations ranked 6-8 + 14 winners of QF R2
Directly to Group stage: Champions of top 5 nations

- First, to get down to only 16 teams from the participating 54 (approx.) we would need 3 qualifying rounds. The weakest teams have so far played 3 games (during 1 trip abroad) before being eliminated. In qualifying these would play one game at home and one away. They would play 2 games (1 trip) and be eliminated. The costs should not increase and they get at least one game in front of a home crowd (!).
- The mid range teams who sometimes make it to R32 (and sometimes not) play nowadays 3-5 games (with 2 trips abroad). These teams would usually be eliminated in the second qualifying round of the proposed new model. Hence, they are expected to play 4 games of qualifying. Sometimes it could be 2 games and sometimes 6. The difference would still not be too radical.
- Teams ranked approx. 6-16 in Europe would face the toughest change. Group stage would replace R16 and R32. Hence, the games for the top teams would increase by 2 only by that. These teams would have the chance of getting through qualifying, so they would get an extra 2-4 games from that. Some would of course get directly to the last round of qualifying and be eliminated there, only getting 2 games. But then again that is also the case in R32 at the moment.
- But six potential more games, with 3 more trips abroad seems a bit much. The only way I can see to decrease this problem is to insert a QF round "zero". That would eliminate 5-10 weakest teams from the beginning and make it possible to have a few more teams go directly to QF 3 instead of staring at QF 2. But this would only increase the next problem:

- The other problem is the calendar. Now in a year with a major tournament (yet again...larger Euros and WC with also Olympics as a major tournament is becoming too much, but that is another story) we can see from the calendar that there is not much space. The times table would need to be in accordance with the following:
- QF R1: Early August, just like now (if a QF zero is inserted, it would need to be before the FIFA dates in July, making it almost impossible since some leagues dont end until early June...)
- QF R2: Put in this in September
- QF R 3: October (where R32)
- Group stage: November (R16 now), late November (2 rounds)...and? December seems quite late looking at when leagues in Sweden, Russia, Norway, Denmark stop...could be very snowy.

The rythm is quite okay, since there is a small break after each stage giving the possibility to find good flights at fair prices.


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Re: The Champions League of Tomorrow
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2013, 07:58:15 PM »
I am thinking 6 games at group stage level is quite good especially if the 16 remaining teams are good quality. I actually think, there are a few teams that are a bit low in quality in the last 16 so if the group stage is organised with the last 8 only, you get 2 group of 4 and guaranteed 6 quality interesting games.

Offline Max

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Re: The Champions League of Tomorrow
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2013, 12:07:52 AM »
Well, that if of course one issue. However, I don't feel a UCL GS with only teams from like 5 countries would be that exciting.
Sure, great quality games but lacks in:
- the feel of a real international competition (yes, there is divergence in qualifying, but still..)
- spreading the UCL-boom to several countries

In addition, the teams that are top 16 but not top 8 are in my opinion really not that far behind teams like Juvisy and Göteborg.

That being said, the 8 teams in group stage might be a first step.