European Coefficient Implications of Roma’s Champions League Exit

Last night Roma were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League following a 2-0 defeat at home to Manchester City. The defeat, in conjunction with Byaern’s 2-0 victory over CSKA Moscow means that Roma will now head to the last 32 of the Europa League.

The obvious silver lining is that Roma will now have a more realistic opportunity at improving their club coefficient so as to avoid being placed in pot 4 of next season’s Champions League draw (assuming they qualify of course). The following paragraph is straight off of UEFA’s webpage and details how club coefficient points are calculated with regards to teams playing in the Champions League.

“UEFA Champions League points system:

First qualifying round elimination – 0.5 points
Second qualifying round elimination – 1 point
Group stage participation – 4 points
Group stage win – 2 points
Group stage draw – 1 point
Round of 16 participation – 4 points

Since 2009/10 clubs have been awarded an additional point if they reach the round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals or final.

NB Points are not awarded for elimination in the third qualifying round or play-offs, since those clubs move to the UEFA Europa League and are awarded points for participation in that competition.”

From the aforementioned criteria, Roma scored 8 points during their first Champions League campaign since 2010/11. To put it into perspective, this season Juventus scored 15 points although last season (where they were eliminated in the group stages) they only scored 9 points. Perhaps it would be more relevant to compare Roma to the other teams who were also in pot 4 this season before the Champions League group draw was made.

Roma at the time of the Champions League Group Stage draw had a coefficient score of 39.887 and were second in pot 4 behind Anderlecht who had a much superior points tally of 50.26. Roma have lost ground to Anderlecht this season already as Anderlecht scored 9 coefficient points this season and will also enter the Europa League knockout stage. The surprise package from pot 4 was undoubtedly Monaco who entered the tournament with a coefficient score of 11.3 and yet were the only side of all the pot 4 teams to progress to the round of the last 216. Not only did Monaco progress but they also did it conceding 1 goal and racking up 16 coefficient points in  the process.

Now, to fully calculate a team’s five year coefficient we have to do the following (again, this is taken straight off of UEFA’s site):

“Coefficient calculation – Clubs’ coefficients are determined by the sum of all points won in the previous five years, plus 20% of the association coefficient over the same period (33% before 2009).”

In this regard there is some more good news. Next season, when the club and country coefficients are calculated, Portugal will lose the points from their incredible 2010/11 season where the country scored 18.8 points in comparison to Italy’s 11.57 points. The falling away of the 2010/11 season should give Roma a slight advantage over teams from Portugal, France and Russia, who are usually some of the countries competing for pot 3.

Here’s where the bad news comes in though. The 2010/11 season racked up 18.314 points for Roma and will fall away for the 2016/17 season. The three seasons that follow the 2010/11 edition make for poor reading with Roma scoring under 10 coefficient points in total. Therefore, Roma need to have a good Europa League campaign for the Giallorossi to have any chance of finishing in contention for a pot 3 slot for the 2016/17 season. In fact, Roma would probably need to make it to the final (or semi-finals) to redeem their coefficient points that they will lose when the 2010/11 season falls away.

With 2 points awarded for a win and 1 point awarded for a draw (as well as one point for reaching every round after the last 16) Roma would need a long run into the Europa League to gather about 12 more points to go with the already obtained 8 or so points this season. Although Roma will still retain the points from the 2010/11 season when they go into next season’s Champions League campaign, there is a growing need for the club to improve it’s points tally in anticipation of future seasons. Roma will probably need a strong campaign in this season’s Europa League as well as another decent season in the Champions League during 2015/16 in order to effectively make up for the fading away of the 2010/11 points tally.

Roma will likely have a better chance at scoring coefficient points in the Europa League than if they had proceeded in the Champions League and this is actually a large positive to take from the premature exit suffered last night. The real negative is perhaps that Roma have now missed out on about €15 million while at the same time handing Juventus an extra €9 million (due to the TV market pool share) which will undoubtedly have a substantial role in the January transfer market’s deals.