It’s taken as gospel but UEFA’s co-efficient system is badly in need of revamping.
As preparations are made for today’s draw in Monaco a number of the rankings look questionable with Arsenal, Porto and Benfica all in with the top seeds in pot one.
There will always be grounds for argument when it comes to judging football teams but how can UEFA justify Arsenal being a top seed while last season’s finalists Borussia Dortmund are in pot three?
In an unusually informative article on the BBC website the state broadcaster goes into detail with specific examples of how the UEFA rankings benefit certain clubs.
To summarise the system the co-efficient is based on five year performances with no weighting given to more recent performances.
The two main criteria that are of open to question are that a win five seasons ago are as relevant as a win five months ago while beating Barcelona gets you the same points as a win over FC Nordsjaelland.
Making life even more difficult for Celtic they are lumbered with 20% of Scotland’s co-efficient meaning that no matter how often they beat Spartak Moscow they will always be falling behind any club that finishes in the top four in England, Spain and Germany.
Covering the Arsenal situation the BBC article states: “The Gunners, who have finished fourth in the Premier League in five of the past eight seasons, have got out of the first group stage 14 times out of 15 since 1998-99,(external) reaching one final, one semi-final and four quarter-finals, but their best recent run came when they reached the last eight in 2010.
“They have been a pot one (or top-eight ranked) team in each of the past 10 campaigns, but have not beaten another top-ranked side since they eliminated AC Milan in the last 16 in 2007-08.
“Their only aggregate wins over a team ranked in the top 15 since then were over Villarreal (ranked 12th) in 2008-09, andPorto (15th) in 2009-10, the last time they won a knockout match in the competition proper.
“In comparison, last season’s runners-up, Borussia Dortmund, were ranked joint 65th (five places above Bolton) when they reached the final as a pot four team. The German side are still only ranked 31st this campaign (with a coefficient of 61.922) and will be in pot three, along with Manchester City (70.592).”
Regardless of the in’s and out’s of the draw Celtic will be at the big party again for the second season running.
Today’s draw could put them in a group alongside Real Madrid, Juiventus and Borussia Dortmund- or in with Benfica, Schalke 04 and Basel.
Whatever draw comes out the matches at Celtic Park are certain to be among the most watched games in the competition with fans throughout the world knowing that when it comes to Champions League drama there is only one place to be.
CLICK HERE for BBC article on UEFA co-efficient