Europa Conference League 2021/22

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Ezeikial
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Europa Conference League 2021/22

Post by Ezeikial » Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:07 pm

Can any of the Euro experts make sense of this new competition?

If I understand it correctly, the winners of next seasons 2020 Airticity League will start in the Champions League as before and get the benefits of a further trap door qualification via first Europa League, and then Conference League

This Belfast Telegraph gives a decent explanation of it. Are the implications the same for Airtricity League?
All you need to know about the new Europa Conference League and what it means for the Irish League teams

* Europa League will now only be a possibility for the Dankse Bank Premiership champions
* A repeat of Linfield's run to the Europa League play-offs would guarantee a group stage spot
* As many as 34 of UEFA's 55 member nations will be represented in the group stage of European football

By Gareth Hanna

September 30 2019


UEFA has rubber-stamped the name of its new club competition: the Europa Conference League. Other than it's rather less than grandiose title, what do we know about it and what does it mean for the Irish League?


Here's a quick guide:

What is the UEFA Europa Conference League?
The competition is basically a third-tier European club tournament, running behind the Champions League and the Europa League. There will be 32 teams taking part in the group stage and, like the other two competitions, the top two teams in each group of four make it through to the knock-out rounds.

It's not as simple as those teams making up the last 16, however. The group runners-up will face an additional knock-out round - basically a round of 32 - against the teams who finish third in their Europa League groups and drop down to the Conference League. From then on, it's the usual European formula of two-legged knock-out ties leading to a final at a pre-determined venue.

The matches will be played on Thursday evenings, kicking off at 5.45pm or 8pm.

When does the UEFA Europa Conference League begin?
The competition is scheduled to get under way in the 2021/22 season, so the Irish League will get back its fourth European place just in time for the big kick-off of the new-look European schedule.

What's the point of it?
UEFA's stated aim is to increase the number of member associations represented in the group stage of European competition. UEFA say the competition means at least 34 of the 55 member nations will be represented in the group stages, as opposed to the current number of 26.

So it's made for nations exactly like Northern Ireland, who have never sent a club into the group stage of either the Champions League or the Europa League. Linfield's run to the Europa League play-off this summer was the closest an Irish League side has come.

In theory, the new competition should make their task easier.

"This competition was borne out of ongoing dialogue with clubs through the European Club Association," said President Aleksander Čeferin.

"There was a widespread demand by all clubs to increase their chances of participating more regularly in European competition. This has been achieved with a strategic approach, and in accordance with UEFA's objective of having both more quality and more inclusivity in our club competitions."

Which teams will play in the Europa Conference League?
There will be teams from all 55 of UEFA's member nations in qualifying section of the tournament. The top five nations in the coefficient ranking will all have one team each entering the Play-Off round, including England who seem set to send their League Cup winners. Nations ranked 6th to 15th will all have two teams going straight into the qualifying rounds, with nations ranked 16th to 51st (bar Liechtenstein) all sending three teams. The nations from 52nd to 54th will send two teams and the bottom nation only one.

What does it mean for the Irish League?
The Irish League champions will, from 2021 onwards, be the only team to have the opportunity to play in the Europa League.

From 2021 onwards, the Irish League clubs' European opportunities will be as follows:

Danske Bank Premiership champions: The Irish League champions will enter the first qualifying round of the Champions League. If they are knocked out in that round, they will drop directly into the UEFA Conference League second qualifying round (Champions path). But, if they manage to make it through at least one round in the Champions League, they will guarantee themselves three rounds of European football. That's because they will first drop into the Europa League qualifying rounds. If they then fail to make it into the group stage, they will drop into the Europa Conference League. If a team can repeat Linfield's run to the Europa League Play-off, that would be enough to guarantee group stage football as the losers of the Europa League play-offs go directly into the Conference League groups.

Other Irish League teams: Unless Northern Ireland manage to rocket their way into the top 30 in the UEFA coefficient rankings (currently ranked 48th), the other three European qualifiers must enter the Europa Conference League in the first qualifying round, facing four knock-out ties until the group stage.

What's the prize money for the new competition?
As we all, chiefly Linfield and Crusaders, now know, the European competitions carry vast sums of prize-money. The amount of Euros on offer for the new tournament is yet to be announced but if the current financial standards are anything to judge by, it will be very significant in Irish League terms. Watch this space.
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/spor ... 47342.html


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Re: Europa Conference League 2021/22

Post by Chrish » Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:25 pm

Pretty much. It makes winning the first round of CL qualifying crucial though. Lose there and you go straight to conference qualifying round2.

But win and you are in CL round 2. Even if you lose that go to EL round 3. And if you lose that then you have conference playoff.

So get through that first round then you have 3 chances in a row. Win one of those games and you have group stage football

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Re: Europa Conference League 2021/22

Post by Chrish » Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:25 pm

Double post

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Re: Europa Conference League 2021/22

Post by seand » Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:29 pm

That's a pretty good summary. For non-champions it's pretty much the same as the existing Europa League. All Irish qualifiers except the champions will start in the qualifying rounds of the Europa Conference (EC) instead of the Europa League (EL). The 2020 League of Ireland champions will start in the CL. If they lose in the first round they're straight into the EC, if they get through one round they drop into the EL with a further parachute into the EC if necessary. Very possible to play in the three tournaments in one season.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UEFA_Euro ... nce_League

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Re: Europa Conference League 2021/22

Post by Sneachta » Tue Oct 01, 2019 4:49 pm

It's going to be a nightmare for fixtures. Jesus.... Should we even raise that old chestnut again? If they (fai) don't get the fixtures right for when this comes in it'll hamstring Irish clubs with small squads. It'll really only be the likes of Dundalk or rovers that could rotate comfortably and even at that, there are no guarantees we would progress to the group stages of this competition.

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Re: Europa Conference League 2021/22

Post by Shoco » Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:00 pm

So if next seasons champions win one round in Europe, they are guaranteed a total of 8 games and at worse get to the play off round of the new competition? That's a fair big incentive for what would have been beating Riga this season.

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Re: Europa Conference League 2021/22

Post by seand » Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:12 pm

Shoco wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:00 pm
So if next seasons champions win one round in Europe, they are guaranteed a total of 8 games and at worse get to the play off round of the new competition? That's a fair big incentive for what would have been beating Riga this season.
Yeh, looks like you're right, it's really quite insane. The first round is crucial, it's arguably most important tie of the season.

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Re: Europa Conference League 2021/22

Post by Ezeikial » Tue Oct 01, 2019 6:26 pm

So if this competition had been in place this season after our defeat to Slovan Bratislava in EL QR3 we would have dropped from Europa League (EL) QR3 to Europa Conference (EC) Play off round; if successful in that Play off we would have played EC Group stages.

If the EC groups stages have 4 teams then that gives another 6 matches on top of the 8 already played - 14 european matches on the back of only two qualifying round wins!

Wow! If the prize money for EC is half decent, there is a real financial incentive to win the league next season!
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Re: Europa Conference League 2021/22

Post by El Paso » Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:04 pm

Potential downside is that the teams in it will be from the periphery of Europe and costs could eat up income.

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Re: Europa Conference League 2021/22

Post by seand » Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:00 am

El Paso wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:04 pm
Potential downside is that the teams in it will be from the periphery of Europe and costs could eat up income.
Yes, and the group phase will be a LOT less glamorous. This season's Europa League includes three teams each from England, Spain, Germany, Italy.... from 2021 two of those 3 will be straight into the EL group and just one will go into the EC, so you're much less likely to get an attractive group.
In my opinion the whole thing (and indeed the current EL) is skewed way too much in favour of domestic champions. The champions get 3 shots at making group football, the runners-up need to get through four rounds to make it into the least glamorous group phase. It is going to help solidify the likes of Qarbag, TNS, Astana, Dinamo Zagreb and (hopefully!) Dundalk as perennial champions. It suits us (for now at least), but it's terrible for European football in general.

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Re: Europa Conference League 2021/22

Post by Ezeikial » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:31 am

Long term vision is way over rated! A bit of short term focus is what's needed just now
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Re: Europa Conference League 2021/22

Post by DundalkChampions » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:56 am

seand wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:00 am
El Paso wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:04 pm
Potential downside is that the teams in it will be from the periphery of Europe and costs could eat up income.
Yes, and the group phase will be a LOT less glamorous. This season's Europa League includes three teams each from England, Spain, Germany, Italy.... from 2021 two of those 3 will be straight into the EL group and just one will go into the EC, so you're much less likely to get an attractive group.
In my opinion the whole thing (and indeed the current EL) is skewed way too much in favour of domestic champions. The champions get 3 shots at making group football, the runners-up need to get through four rounds to make it into the least glamorous group phase. It is going to help solidify the likes of Qarbag, TNS, Astana, Dinamo Zagreb and (hopefully!) Dundalk as perennial champions. It suits us (for now at least), but it's terrible for European football in general.
An extraa 2 clubs from Eng, Ger, Spain etc are going to be in Europe so it might not be half as bad as you think.

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Re: Europa Conference League 2021/22

Post by seand » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:53 am

DundalkChampions wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:56 am


An extraa 2 clubs from Eng, Ger, Spain etc are going to be in Europe so it might not be half as bad as you think.
I don't think so. According to this there'll be one Eng/Ger/Ita/Esp team automatically in the EC
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UEFA_Euro ... nce_League

....with the cup winners and fifth placed teams straight into the EL group
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UEFA_Euro ... 2%80%9324)

So from 2021 still only 7 English etc teams qualify for Europe with 4 CL, 2 EL and 1 EC. Of course the LoI champions will still have a shot at getting into the CL groups (!!) and the new improved EL groups.

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