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Europe: The fallout

Comments (26)

I've sat back and watched for a while as people procrastinate about our lack of funds, transfer inactivity, and player's itchy feet over the last few weeks.

And I think there is a point that hasn't been raised yet that is a major influence on all these things. Last season, our failure to qualify for Europe was a massive, massive blow. It impacts on us now. I know there are many people who think that the Europa League offers no financial reward and simply exposes a small squad to its demands. But this is not the whole picture. The reality is that qualifying for it:

  • - gives increased revenue through TV rights, gate receipts, and other commercial activities;
  • - the fact you've qualified for it indicates you've already had an extra wedge that closed season from improved Premier League placing monies; and
  • - helps keep, and attract, top players who either are internationals, or have international aspirations.
We didn't qualify, for reasons already discussed in depth last season. This has a significant knock-on effect to our ability to procure and retain players this season. Our income is down, transfer funds are reduced accordingly. And our better players want to play in Europe ? either for the kudos of the competition, to test themselves at a higher level, or to increase their chances of playing for their country (which seems to mean something for every non-english player). Players we want to attract, look at clubs playing in Europe as their preferred option.

You only have to consider some of the Everton players who have been linked with other clubs this closed season, and they're all clubs who can offer European competition (and the increased wages that can go with that on the higher stages). Liverpool fail to qualify for the CL, and Gerrard and Torres are instantly rumoured to be jumping ship.

It has ever been thus ? the top clubs can attract the top players and build a stable team, because they can offer the higher echelons of the game, and their qualification for these competitions means they can afford it.

Like it or not, our failure to finish in the top 6 last season has hit us financially, and in the make up of the dressing room for the new season.
Jeremy Benson, Cotswolds     Posted 15/07/2010 at 19:42:36

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Dan Parker
1   Posted 15/07/2010 at 21:18:14

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It is these players who are responsible for us not being in Europe no?

And fingers crossed, the only player we've lost thus far from not being in Europe is Dan Gosling!

I think it's our inability to pay top dollar for wages rather than lack of being in Europe that's potentially going to cost us.
Aiden Doyle
2   Posted 15/07/2010 at 21:25:27

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I've a suspicion that "procrastinate" doesn't mean what you think it does.
Gerry Morrison
3   Posted 15/07/2010 at 21:30:37

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A little more procrastination, and a little less pontification might do us all the power of good.
Kevin Hudson
4   Posted 15/07/2010 at 21:55:23

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It's a debatable point, Jeremy, but I don't think the Europa Cup is that big a cash cow, as I know that 2009 winners Shakhtar Donetsk only banked £5 million from their success. Also, I don't think it is particularly attractive to players these days, as nobody wants to be stuck in Minsk on a wet Thursday night!!

Which is a shame because I've always thought the Uefa Cup is one of the nicest trophies out there, and I would love us to win it.
Rob Murphy
5   Posted 15/07/2010 at 22:51:45

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I think the Claret Jug is a beautiful piece of work myself... well worth winning!!
Rob Fox
6   Posted 15/07/2010 at 22:57:05

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Spurs have missed out on Europe more often than not but have continually attracted sought after players and spent money. They have now qualified for the CL having missed out on Europe the year before.

We have been in Europe the last few years and have been perenially skint.

So, Europe is a factor but only a small one financially, the impact is more in terms of keeping and attracting players with genuine ambition.
Matt Traynor
7   Posted 15/07/2010 at 23:30:42

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The honey pot is the CL, and the financial distortion created by UEFA for the benefit of the thankfully now defunct G14.

It's erroneous, although understandable, to also link the lack of Europe with a detrimental reduction in success money from EPL due to lower league placing. We could finish bottom, but qualify through winning the FA or League Cup.

And you shouldn't underestimate the impact a "successful" Europa campaign can have on your domestic campaign.

Fulham played 19 games in the Europa League last season in getting to the final. That is half a domestic league season additional, as well as FA Cup and League Cup (admittedly a stage later) games.

A real problem here is UEFA's inability to address the dis-proportionate benefits of entering their two competitions, and they are in danger of weakening the Europa League to the same status as the English league now has it's League Cup when compared with the rapidly-falling FA Cup.
Jamie Sweet
8   Posted 15/07/2010 at 23:52:38

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Do you know something I don't Jeremy? "Super" Danny aside, (who certainly will not be going to a club playing in Europe.... and who will probably now never play another game in Europe) I don't think we've lost anyone yet. If we do - then is the time to start discussing any possible "fallout". I try to not worry about things that might never happen. Moyes seems pretty keen on hanging on to the current squad. I sincerely hope he does.

Don't worry about the mis-use of the word "procrastinate". You made up for it with good words like "thus" and "echelons".
Jay Dawson
9   Posted 16/07/2010 at 00:14:46

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'It has ever been thus'... What? Haha, good point though and I agree that most top players and up-and-coming players want to be in Europe but the majority seem to only be interested in Champions League which I think we have a better chance of getting, now that were out of Europe. Ya Get Me?
Brendan O'Doherty
10   Posted 16/07/2010 at 02:03:53

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We are not in Europe this season.

Desperate, isn't it?

Maybe we shouldn't be bothered looking forward to the new season, what with our squad having fallen apart and having missed out on all that lucrative Europa League money.

Pass me a valium nurse, would you?
Alun Jones
11   Posted 16/07/2010 at 04:19:59

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I agree with the thread that the Euorpa League is not a money-spinning competition but, despite that I like the idea of us being in Europe, I like the excitement of any European knock-out competition and the chance of a trophy at the end of the season, I just think it adds an extra dimension and extra interest in our season. I am sure the 2008-09 campaign, which finally ended in an unfortunate defeat to Fiorientina, captured the interest of the fans in general and it's only last year's abject showing that has prompted a lot of calls that the Europa League was not worth the hassle, which seems like sour grapes to me on the back of an embarrassing showing this time around.

I will be hoping and praying we make the Champions League this season but, if we don't, at the very least, I want us in the Europa and shame on anyone who would rather us finish 8th again just to avoid the whole thing altogether.

Maybe also, to make the Europa Cup more attractive, the winners should be entered in next season's Champions League final round quallies.
David S Shaw
12   Posted 16/07/2010 at 08:48:38

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I hate not being in Europe.

The team should have two targets each season: First, to win a trophy; if that fails, then get into Europe.

Anything less is a failure.
Mike Allison
13   Posted 16/07/2010 at 08:59:19

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I pretty much agree with you David (12), as being in Europe is a status symbol for the club as much as anything else. "We're the type of club that competes in international competition, not just domestic" and people all over Europe will at least be dimly aware of Europa League results, and see the name of the club. If you think about the overseas teams you've heard of and why, you'll see that European competition makes a huge difference.

However, as a one-off, I am in no doubt that not being in Europe this season is a blessing. It will make us more likely to succeed in reaching domestic targets ? and so, for one season only, especially considering the injuries that led to an 8th place finish rather than 4th-7th (and we were still just about in the hunt for 4th with a month to go), I don't really think it's something to complain about too loudly.
David S Shaw
14   Posted 16/07/2010 at 09:17:13

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Isn't the domestic target qualifying for Europe? So it's not really a blessing in disguise it was just another season of promise not progress.

The real problem is the inequality of payments between the CL and Europa League.

The Europa League should be the stepping stone between domestic and CL footy. It's not, football is now designed to keep the Sky 4 as the Sky 4.

The stepping stone is now a billionaire like at City. Yet City take the flak? No it's the Sky 4 and the CL that should take the flak.

Football should be returned as a fair sport. Give me a League Cup over finishing 4th any day.
Alan Clarke
15   Posted 16/07/2010 at 10:53:16

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Rubbish. We earn very little from that cup. We will probably earn more from more domestic coverage now we're not in Europe, especially now Sky are doing Monday nights again.
Nick Wall
16   Posted 16/07/2010 at 12:04:04

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Yes, strange thread this. As has been pointed out, involvement in the Europa League does not generate any significant amount of income. And though we all had a few fears that it may lead to some top players leaving, this hasn't proved to be the case. The signs are that the squad is in good shape and feeling optimistic about the new season, and that Pienaar and Arteta will still be with us for the campaign.

I'll be sorry to lose those European nights, and I'm sure that the players will feel the same way ? hopefully this will spur them to fight all the harder to achieve European football once more with Everton.
Dean Adams
17   Posted 16/07/2010 at 13:29:57

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The way things have worked out it really is a case of "now is the time". I don't believe we will get a better opportunity to finish top four and I sincerely believe we can do better than fourth. Maybe it is belief in something against the odds that truely makes achievement so much better than just being able to buy your way to the top.

I will be placing a bet on us, the 24-year rule and the way things have fallen into place gives me more optimism than ever before.

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.... let's hope and believe.

Mike Allison
18   Posted 16/07/2010 at 14:31:42

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Well, you could say the domestic target is qualifying for Europe but that's really the very lowest target. Really it's win a trophy (or at least reach a final) and qualify for the Champions League. Last season's 'failure' makes 'success' more likely this season. I agree with Dean's phrase "now is the time".

I agree with you David that the Champions League is the real problem. Next season's Europa League should have AC Milan, Juventus, Man United and Real Madrid in it, as none of them managed to become champions of their respective leagues. In the past this meant that as well as the premiere competition pitting Europe's champions against each other, there was also another excellent, high standard competition that often pitted Europe's best current sides against each other. The Cup Winner's Cup provided a nice little side trophy for talented but inconsistent sides ('cup specialists' if you allow that such teams exist). The current format of all the eggs in one basket has some positives over the previous, but too many negatives as far as I'm concerned.

Playing the Europa League on a Thursday is also a dreadful idea as far as I'm concerned. I know its all about TV and not clashing with the Champions League, but English clubs should be allowed to play on their traditional midweek nights.
Brendan O'Doherty
19   Posted 16/07/2010 at 19:27:22

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"English clubs should be allowed to play on their traditional midweek nights."

So there should be one rule for English clubs and everybody else in Europe can go fuck themselves then. (Except of course, when they are honoured and privileged to be playing an English club.)

I thought Maggie Thatcher had retired?
Karl Masters
20   Posted 17/07/2010 at 01:13:56

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Dean Adams, no 17:

With you all the way mate!

Things have fallen nicely so far.
Paul Gladwell
21   Posted 18/07/2010 at 11:22:36

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At the moment we are looking at starting the season with the best squad we have had since the 80s, so missing out on the poor Europa Cup has hardly had an effect regarding itchy feet. I love that cup, but only on a selfish basis for jaunts away, and being out of it will help us massively this season.
David Freeman
22   Posted 18/07/2010 at 14:49:28

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I am sure from time to time all us loyal Evertonians that post on here would like to be able to discuss what world star David Moyes will sign next but money is not the be-all and end-all.

Having been a supporter of this great team, I have seen a lot of big money buys and to be honest, I have never been more excited for the coming season than I am now with all the young talent we have at our disposal. So be careful what you wish for ? it could be far worse like the early nineties.

Mike Allison
23   Posted 18/07/2010 at 17:51:14

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That was one way to take that Brendan. Are you related to Ciaran McGlone?
Brendan O'Doherty
24   Posted 19/07/2010 at 01:13:56

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No Mike, just puzzled as to why you think that English clubs should get special treatment, that's all.
Mike Allison
25   Posted 19/07/2010 at 18:15:31

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I don't and didn't really mean it to sound like that. English clubs traditionally play on a Saturday, and midweek games on a Tuesday or Wednesday.

Playing on a Thursday has a knock on effect to the weekend game and occasionally to the potential Tuesday game the following week (assuming the standard two clear days between matches that they tend to try and stick to). This means that English clubs (and all others!) should be allowed to arrange their games for days that suit them, which in the English clubs' case would usually be Tuesday or Wednesday.

Many European leagues (the Italian league being the obvious one I can think of) traditionally play on Sundays anyway, so Thursday night games aren't such a problem for them and they don't have the same need for freedom to move the Europa League ties. Their problem instead comes when they have Champions League ties on a Tuesday which they can't move.

I didn't mean there should be a special rule for English clubs, I was just talking from the English perspective.

Brendan O'Doherty
26   Posted 19/07/2010 at 19:16:52

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Fair enough. No special rule for English clubs.

Though with the 'traditional' Saturday game now a thing of the past with so many teams playing on Sunday anyway for TV/police reasons, there wouldn't be much point in playing a Europa League game on a Tues/Weds, just so that the league game could be played on a Saturday.

Unless of course you are Everton and you are forced to kick-off at 5:45pm just to accomodate your neighbours from hell.

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