Friday, 20 December 2013

An Atlantic League

With the Top 5 or 6 European Leagues (England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France and Portugal) pulling away from the rest the question poses  for the medium sized leagues to merge into an North Sea or Atlantic League?

The main reason to do this would be to challenge the big 5/6 in Europe as the Television deals in those countries are massive i.e. Barclays Premier League - £5.74 billion over 3 years. The biggest current deal of the leagues that could be involved is the Eredivisie - €1 billion over 12 years.

There is a precedent as in Rugby Union the Scottish, Irish and Welsh leagues (eventually joined by Italy) merged into the Celtic League to rival the Aviva Premiership (England) and Top 14 (France). This worked as all three leagues are about even in Heineken Cup wins.

From what countries would the teams have to be in to get in this so called "Atlantic League"?


Ideally it would be made of a contingent of Dutch, Belgian, Scottish, Danish, Swedish and Norweigian clubs. There would not be one league, there would have to be a Premiership and a Championship of about 18 clubs in each.

For example, the Netherlands would have 8 teams (5 in Prem), Denmark would have 7 (3 in Prem), Belgium would have 6 (4 in Prem), Scotland would 6 (3 in Prem), Sweden would have 6 (2 in Prem) and Norway would have 3 (1 in Prem).

What is the allocation of teams based on?


This is an educated guess but this is mainly based on current UEFA coefficients and also on history of these countries in European competition:

Current UEFA coefficients:
89Green-Up-Arrow.svg +1Netherlands Netherlands (LC)9.41611.16613.6004.2144.75043.146
1011Green-Up-Arrow.svg +1Belgium Belgium (LC)8.7004.60010.1006.5006.20036.100
1915RedDownArrow.svg −4Denmark Denmark (LC)4.4006.7003.1003.3003.60021.100
2324Green-Up-Arrow.svg +1Scotland Scotland (LC)2.6663.6002.7504.3003.25016.566
2423RedDownArrow.svg −1Sweden Sweden (LC)2.5002.6002.9005.1253.20016.325
2627Green-Up-Arrow.svg +1Norway Norway (LC)2.1002.3752.3004.9002.60014.275

If the qualifying was now what would the leagues look like?

Premiership:

  1. Ajax  Netherlands (4 times European Cup Winners)
  2. Feynoord Netherlands (European Cup Winners)
  3. PSV Netherlands (European Cup Winners)
  4. Twente Netherlands 
  5. Vitesse Netherlands
  6. FC Copenhagen Denmark
  7. Nordjaelland Denmark
  8. Midtjylland Denmark
  9. Standard Liege Belgium
  10. Anderlecht Belgium
  11. Club Brugge Belgium
  12. Lokeren Belgium
  13. Celtic Scotland (European Cup winners)
  14. Dundee Utd Scotland (European Cup SF, UEFA Cup finalists)
  15. Motherwell Scotland
  16. Molde Norway
  17. Malmo Sweden
  18. Elfsborg Sweden

Championship:

AZ Alkmaar Netherlands
Heerenveen Netherlands
Gronignen Netherlands
Randers Denmark
Bronby Denmark
Odense Denmark
AaB Denmark
Genk Belgium
Club Brugge Belgium
Hibernian Scotland
Aberdeen Scotland
Inverness Scotland
AIK Sweden
IFK Gothenburg Sweden
Helsingborgs Sweden
Kalmar Sweden
Rosenberg Norway
Stormsgodset Norway

Can this really happen?

In an ideal world, yes. However if either the Dutch, Belgian, Danish or Scottish leagues pulled out it would have a major impact in this going ahead. Several Chairmen have muted the possibility like Harry van Rajj of PSV. The likelyhood is that the national Assocations will never agree to this or UEFA/FIFA will block this, which is a shame as it gives a chance for a small team like Motherwell to compete against Europe's elite.
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