After some particularly difficult years on the European stage, it would have been five to twelve for the Belgian clubs to score if we didn’t want our seeded participant to lose outright in the Champions League group stage. No problem for next season. The 2021 UEFA country ranking will then be used to allocate European places, and we’ve fallen from eighth to ninth, by a factor of just 6000 last season, but that’s still without consequences.
In the meantime, our country has slipped to 13th place: Scotland, Austria, Ukraine and Serbia have overtaken Belgium, although it is still too early in the season to draw conclusions from this. Completing the top ten at the end of the season is vital, as those countries are allowed to introduce a direct participant to the group stage of the Champions League.
The biggest problem is the start of the 2023-2024 season, where the 2022 country ranking is used. In this five-year coefficient, the exceptional 2016-2017 season, when five Belgian clubs were in the European group stage, and three Belgian clubs (Anderlecht, AA Gent, Racing Genk) in the eighth European League finals, and then. A meeting between Genk and Gent two other teams (Genk and Anderlecht) in the quarter-finals. For the 2024-2025 season, the disastrous 2017-2018 season will disappear from the country’s ranking for 2023, and as a result, our country automatically rises in a few places in the ranking again.
This season, our country’s coefficient is currently 4,000 and we’re 3,300 short of 10th in Scotland. The advantage is that Belgium still has four teams in the competition, while Serbia (2), Ukraine (3), Scotland (2) and Russia (3), countries directly above us in the standings, have to make do with fewer representatives.
The good news is that both Scottish teams Celtic and Rangers lost. Russian teams (Zenit, Lokomotiv and Spartak) got six out of nine, Serbian (Red Star and Partizan) six out of six, and Ukrainian (Shakthar, Kiev and Luhansk) four out of nine.