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.
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, Posted 15/07/2010 at 19:42:36
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1 Posted 15/07/2010 at 21:18:14
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.
2 Posted 15/07/2010 at 21:25:27
3 Posted 15/07/2010 at 21:30:37
4 Posted 15/07/2010 at 21:55:23
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.
5 Posted 15/07/2010 at 22:51:45
6 Posted 15/07/2010 at 22:57:05
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.
7 Posted 15/07/2010 at 23:30:42
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.
8 Posted 15/07/2010 at 23:52:38
Don't worry about the mis-use of the word "procrastinate". You made up for it with good words like "thus" and "echelons".
9 Posted 16/07/2010 at 00:14:46
10 Posted 16/07/2010 at 02:03:53
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?
11 Posted 16/07/2010 at 04:19:59
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.
12 Posted 16/07/2010 at 08:48:38
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.
13 Posted 16/07/2010 at 08:59:19
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.
14 Posted 16/07/2010 at 09:17:13
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.
15 Posted 16/07/2010 at 10:53:16
16 Posted 16/07/2010 at 12:04:04
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.
17 Posted 16/07/2010 at 13:29:57
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.
18 Posted 16/07/2010 at 14:31:42
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.
19 Posted 16/07/2010 at 19:27:22
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?
20 Posted 17/07/2010 at 01:13:56
With you all the way mate!
Things have fallen nicely so far.
21 Posted 18/07/2010 at 11:22:36
22 Posted 18/07/2010 at 14:49:28
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.
23 Posted 18/07/2010 at 17:51:14
24 Posted 19/07/2010 at 01:13:56
25 Posted 19/07/2010 at 18:15:31
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.
26 Posted 19/07/2010 at 19:16:52
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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