Thursday, May 2, 2013

Auf Wiedersehen, Coefficient

An all-German final means for Italian football fans that the spot we gave up is now just that much further out of our reach. As the financial and moral demise of Serie A seems to continue, with FFP seemingly preventing any kind of upturn in fortunes, the strength and power of other leagues continues to grow. Despite every effort to stop the freefall that is Serie A, this season we must say Auf Wiedersehen, Coefficient.

With the migration of fans following the successful European clubs, La Liga could very well experience a downturn as well. I mean, to really be successful at losing European glory, you need a big scandal like Calciopoli. Italians know how to do tailspins, that’s for sure. With England losing out on a lot of points this year, too, there is hope that Serie A could eventually overtake them, too. However, it is unlikely that either of those leagues will self-destruct as well as Serie A, so I’m not holding my breath.

Additionally, the coefficient is based on the past 5 years’ European competitions. So it’s not going to happen overnight. And one club cannot do it on their own. The points are all tallied and divided by the number of clubs representing that league as well as how far in the competition each one managed to get. So even if Milan were to magically win the Champions League next year, they would need the success of every Italian club participating in Europe to make any kind of impact on the coefficient. And then that success would need to continue over five years’ time. Given the current state of Serie A, with financial issues, a lack of club-owned stadiums, repeated scandals, and nothing to draw the best players to the league, we are more likely to slide down the table before we move up the table.

The most recent UEFA Coefficient points
(for more info. about the coefficent go to UEFA's site)

So we watch the Bundesliga, who have been growing in the right direction for some time now, get their turn in the spotlight. If they continue to build, they will easily climb from third to second or even first, replacing the stalwart English league and the two-club wonder Spanish league. It’s a tough pill to swallow, and I hope that things change in Italy… and quickly. I really don’t worry where the bandwagon fans migrate to or from, but I want more shiny trophies for Milan. The stronger our league, the higher the coefficient, the more spots available, the easier it is to qualify for Champions League, and the more likely we are to earn those shiny trophies.

A sad farewell to the coefficient… for now. And two exciting teams to face off in the Champions League final, with a style of football that is not as tired or overhyped as other teams have been in the past. Also an opportunity for us to look to the future… to envy, but just enough to be motivated and take back what’s ours… even if it takes some time. Auf Wiedersehen, Coefficient… for now.

This post inspired by the music of Rammstein

Our next match is
Milan vs. Torino
Sunday, May 5 • 15:00 CEST (9am EDT)