UEFA have increased the number of countries able to register two teams in the women’s Champions League.
As per one of the latest media release from UEFA that was published this week:
‘The number of teams entering the 2016/17 UEFA Women’s Champions League will be increased, with the top 12 national associations in the rankings allowed to enter the runner-up in their domestic competition, as well as their domestic champion – this opportunity is currently offered only to the top eight-ranked associations.’
Although it is a good idea from UEFA to offer more places to lower ranked countries, it does not address the two main problems encountered by teams in the competition: money and more entries for the big countries.
Cost related travel outweighs the revenue from the games for teams.
There are regular reports in Sweden and also in England that Champions League ties cost money to the clubs, especially when travelling as far as Russia or Kazhakstan.
According to the UEFA Women’s Champions League regulations:
The visiting club assumes its expenses for travel board and lodging except unless the two clubs agree otherwise.
The home club assumes the cost of local transport for the visiting club.
For each round UEFA pays the clubs:
Round of 32: €20,000
Round of 16: €20,000
They also pay a contribution towards travel costs of €3,500 when direct flight time is between 30 minutes and two hours 30 minutes and € 7,500 for flights that take more than two hours and 30 minutes.
UEFA also give the bonus payments as follows:
Losing quarter finalist: €25,000
Losing semi-finalist: €50,000
The money given to teams does not always cover the travel costs and the revenue from the ticket sales is not that great either.
At a time when UEFA has increased the revenue for the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League, they certainly missed an opportunity to increase the revenue for the Women’s Champions League.
Only a minority of teams are backed by rich men’s teams or have enough money through sponsorship to cover their costs.
Top countries need more than two slots in the competition.
The top four countries provide most winners, runner-ups and semi-finalists and therefore deserve a third team in the competition.
If we have a look at the competitions semi-finalist through the last five tournaments
2013/14: England, Sweden, Germany, Germany
2012/13: England, Germany, France, France
2011/12: France, Germany, England, Germany
2010/11: France, England, Germany, Germany
2009/10: France, Sweden, Germany, Germany
As of today, the coefficient table shows (2010/11 to 2014/15)
1. Germany 87.5
2. France 72
3. Sweden 61
4. England 58
Those four countries deserve to get a third team for sure.
5. Russia 43.5
6. Spain 41
7. Danemark 37
8. Italy 35
Countries ranked from fifth to eigth place have two entries in the competition since 2009/10
9. Austria 32.5
10. Czech Republik 32
11. Scotland 39
12. Norway 27.5
These four countries will benefit from the new regulations as they will now have two entries rather than one from season 2016/17.
It is really disappointing that UEFA increased the number of places for countries ranked ninth to twelfth but not for the top four teams.
Hopefully it will happen in the near future as well as an increase in the prize money.