Is there any benefit to being in the Europa League?


Okay, so lets get all theoretical and a dreamy and imagine that come the end of the season we qualify for the Europa League somehow.

What would it actually mean for the club? Is it worth the extra games given the well documented detrimental effect it can have on a season? Is it financially viable given that you need a bigger squad with more quality throughout the avoid the previous scenario?

Well here I’m going to try and investigate what the competition actually involves in it’s current Europa League format. Of course we remember it as the UEFA Cup the last time we were in it, and it’s fair to say that there have been a fair few changes since we last competed in the competition.

How to enter

I wasn’t going to do this, but given that a lot of people are wondering just what league position is required to capture a European place and the various permutations regarding qualification I thought I’d cover it. There are a number of ways that we could sneak into the Europa League.

– By finishing in 5th place in the Premier League.

– By finishing 6th in the Premier League, providing Liverpool finish 5th – I’m led to believe that they have already qualified for Europe regardless of the League Cup result. Cast your minds back to the FA Cup final between Portsmouth and Cardiff. It was decided that because Cardiff come under Welsh FA jurisdiction they wouldn’t be allowed to take a place representing the English FA in Europe and would need to apply for a “wildcard” entry instead. The rules haven’t changed since.

– By finishing 7th in the league providing Liverpool finish 5th or 6th and the FA Cup final is competed between two teams from what ends up being the top four in the Premier League.

– Via the Fair Play league, assuming the English league finishes as one of the top three ranked Fair Play leagues in Europe, whatever that means and however it is done.

So there are the the permutations of what it takes to qualify for the competition, but what do we actually gain out of it? I mean it is fun for us fans to visit different parts of Europe, but what does it mean for the club?

Financial gains

While not being as lucrative as the Champions League, the Europa League does still have financial benefits. In terms of prize money you’re guaranteed £500,000 for reaching the group stage of the competition plus more providing you progress. You get £100,000 for a group stage win and £50,000 for a draw. If you get to the final and win you would be looking at picking up £25m for you troubles. Get to the final and lose and you’ll pick up significantly less – somewhere in the region of £13m in prize money.

Each team also receives a “market share” of broadcasting money based on how lucrative the TV rights of a particular country are. The Premier League TV deal is pretty lucrative compared to the rest of Europe so an English club would get somewhere in the region £8m.

Then there are the associated gains to consider. Obviously there are two guaranteed home games in the group stage so you would get gate money, merchandising and all the other trimmings you associate with a home game, although you then have all the associated costs such as policing and stewarding to consider also. Progress further and it’s more of the same. The further you go the more you get. Simples!

Other benefits

There are other financial benefits to be had that have a less immediate effect. Obviously the Europa League gives us as a club more exposure to potential new sponsors who might like what they see and decide to set up some form of link. Regular competition would also give us a bit more leverage when talking to current sponsors.

Not only that, but it opens us up to a new level of player who will be swayed by wanting to join a team involved in European competition and will also go some way to tempering any thoughts of our players leaving. If we’re in Europe the urge to leave may subside for some.

The downfalls

To compete in more competitions you need a bigger squad with more quality available. There are many examples of teams who have suffered a dip in league form thanks to participation in the Europa League. Think Stoke or Fulham for example. Generally speaking, teams in the Champions League have the depth in the squad to fight at the top of their league whereas those in the Europa tend to be a bit lower down the chain.

A deeper squad costs money and unless you get far in the competition you won’t have the means to pay for it. It’s odd to see a team really strengthen based on Europa League qualification although it shouldn’t step in the way of the general strengthening process.

The you have to look at it from the perspective of trying to win it, which is difficult when you have teams dropping out of the Champions League and straight into the knockout part of the Europa League which makes it hard to progress.


Obviously as I said right at the start, this is all theoretical although given that we are 5th in the league with 14 games to go you have to start at least half thinking about it.Is it worth it though? It may be viewed as a second rate European competition, but I think it is, from many perspectives.

What do you think though?

112 thoughts on “Is there any benefit to being in the Europa League?

  1. ‘There are many examples of teams who have suffered a dip in league form thanks to participation in the Europa League. Think Stoke or Fulham for example. Generally speaking, teams in the Champions League have the depth in the squad to fight at the top of their league whereas those in the Europa tend to be a bit lower down the chain.’

    This is the most important part of the piece. People can say, ‘It’s always worth qualifying’. Fair enough but look at Fulham this season, their players looked knackered in that first half and in the second they came out and battered us. I can’t think of any other team that has battered us like that this season and I include the Chelsea game where it was more of a flattering scoreline. Yet look how far down the league Fulham are compared to us and they are out of the Europa league now anyway, so is it worth it?

    For teams at our level it is af if you can have a good domestic season OR a season with European games. Then it takes another year to qualify again.


  2. There are so many players at FC Twente that would fit into our squad perfectly.

    Nacer Chadli and Ola John would be devastating on the wing and Roberto Rosales would be nice to cover full back and wing too.


  3. I think the thing with Europe is that it needs managing carefully. It’s all well and good playing the kids, but then you have to realise that they probably won’t get too far thus negating any financial gain.

    Too far the other way and you risk your league position.

    A balancing act, but I’d rather be in it than not in it 🙂

    Dub – One had successful aim. Not long got back from the Police Station. Had to report her as she just drop off after driving into the side of my coach 🙄


  4. Definately think its worth it.

    It may not bring huge money, but it brings prestige, pride and better players.

    Also, its another opportunity to win a trophy and we could give someof the kids some European experience.


  5. I think getting into the UEFA would be fantastic, be great to have european football back again. Who knows how far we could go, Boro got to the final a few years back and did Fulham get to the semis or was it the final a year or 2 ago? If they could do it, why not us. Lets just make sure we finish 6 or 5, 4th would just be a dream come true and get through the qualifyer, be like watching Ketsbire (or however you spell his name0 getting us through all over again


  6. Sy 👿 couldn’t put up with the idiots out there all day. There seem to be days when they all come out at once just to feck everyone over too 🙄

    You’re right about nigating the financial gain but if allowed us to qualify again we’d still be working from a better base to improve year on year. Not sure how that £8m tv money you mentioned is broken down by progress etc but if that’s given out before a match is played, that enough to cover a good player and wages alone


  7. Toonsy the suspension collapsed on the back of my car this week. What a pain, I thought it must be the exhaust scraping along the floor, as you do, because there was a noise. Looked underneath there was nothing. Got back in more noise. The back passenger coil spring had snapped off and was getting caught against something. Had to park it at work and then jack it up remove the spring and stick a lump of wood in. 😛 Managed to get to quickfit. Wasn’t cheap like but cheaper than a recovery truck. 😀


  8. Dub – The TV money is paid just for qualifying I believe. It’s shared out of a collective pot.

    Simon – Yeah it wasn’t bad or anything. Just need to cover my arse in case she tries anything on. It’s all covered with CCTV anyway and the road markings back me up as will the cameras. Only went to the police as she failed to stop.


  9. At least you are fine. Typical though, people like that shouldnt be allowed on the road. Fair enough that people make mistakes and the weather doesnt help, but if you have an accident, you stop, own up and do what needs to be done.


  10. Too right simon, we’ve all made mistakes, can’t just run away and hide your head in the sand. Best of luck Toonsy


  11. I think even if we don’t get in Europe we need to look at strengthening our squad anyway build it up like we have been and give us depth. cant see why it would be bad at worse I reckon we wouldn’t have to sign loads of players why not give some our youngsters which there are plenty of a run out in it add a few decent signings with that and I reckon we could still do well in it. its more money for us and it makes us a even more attractive club to sign for anyway i think pardew will know how to cope with it and get the best out our players every game he’s shown he’s great at tactics and getting the players ready and up for a game


  12. DJG – we are not going to finish in the top 4 every season, and we have an outside chance this season … But by the sounds of what your saying is that that would be detrimental to us?
    Chamions League football would be a bad thing 😕 … I ask because CL would stretch us in much the same way!!
    Or how about if we won the FA Cup? .. Silverware good – Euro qualification bad ???

    Don’t get me wrong, I understand what you mean about the extra games taking their toll. But I would argue, look how far Stoke have come in the last 5 seasons. I think people forget they are still fairly new to the prem league.

    What do you suggest, aim for 8th or 9th every season – just to make sure we don’t get into Europe through the back door?

    I’m sure when MA visited this week and spoke with Pardew, they would have discussed every eventualilty and what would be needed if they do qualify for Europa or CL. He’s already proven this season that if doesn’t take mega money to strengthen the squad, I reckon 4-5 players would do it and would allow some of the young un more game time.

    There’s still 14 games to go yet tho and 42 points still to play for … hell the league isn’t out of reach yet!! 😳 😆


  13. Not fussed about Europa really, having said that if we can get some more players in, sufficient to give us enough to rotate, then the different styles we would come up against would be learning experience and should benefit the team ……………


  14. Sharpy17

    I have no doubt that if we qualified for the Europa or Champions league it would be detrimental to our domestic league form next season. I didn’t say it would be detrimental to our income or status, that is a different thing.

    ‘What do you suggest, aim for 8th or 9th every season – just to make sure we don’t get into Europe through the back door?’

    I don’t suggest that at all, I would love us to finish above Liverpool and of course the mackems. I would like us to finish as high as possible. People say ‘oh, you expected us to win the FA cup slap slap’. No I wanted us to get as far as possible and a respectable finish and yet again we didn’t.


  15. Europa is another competition with a prize at the end of it and much experience to be gained along the way. If you dont want to participate, then why not advocate aiming for 7th to 10th place in the premier every year? No kudos, but safe money 🙄


  16. DJG – the point I’m trying to make is that if we finish 5 we don’t get a choice in the matter.
    The only way to avoid being in the “mickey mouse”‘ cup as you call it, is to finish 8th or 9th every season to ensure we are not in it.
    Incidentally – the “mickey mouse” cup starts again this Thursday – channel 5 – Man Utd v Ajax … hardly Micky Mouse mate.

    I’d rather finish 5th this season (make Europa) and finish 10th or 11th next season because or the strains or Europe – than finish 8th this season and next with doubt to show for it.

    One thing is for sure, Chelski, Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs, Man Utd and Man City will all strengthen their squads in the summer – along with other clubs like the scum. All the managers say it “it’s easy to get in amongst the top teams, it isn’t easy staying there”

    Spurs have been able to turn there back on the Europa league this season and played alot of young lads in the competition and they have managed to push on in the league.

    I’d far sooner switch channel 5 on and watch our young uns and weakened 11 playing than Spurs or Stoke or Birmingham or Fulham.

    The likes or Tav, Ferguson and Vukic would certainly be likely to get more competitive game time.

    Embrace it my friend!!!


  17. If we get into euro i see a major overhaul of the front and back line coming, outs defenders saylor for a major player in the team,spends to long on the treatment table, dont think thats ganna change 10 mil, collo just dont see the club giving him 5 year deal so think he could go 10 mil. Defenders in douglas free, and 2 more cb.Midfield 1 in defensive midfielder claudio yacob free.Attackers 3 for the cull, shola, loverboy, best,3 to 5 mil.Attackers in Andy carrol 6 to 10 mil, to replace shola in the air,plus 1 more attacker,with the well expected outs of smith and hopefully zisco.


  18. Toonarmyelite-we won’t be getting carroll for 6-10 mil.In fact we won’t be getting him full stop imo. Would agree that it would be nice to have a squad overhaul though.


  19. NEWKIE
    play carrol in a 433 with the dembas up front feeding off the flick ons 20 goals each easy i think 😆


  20. just hope we looking at a few of these out of contract players meself before spending the transfer budget


  21. Tinpoops isn’t fussed about the Europa league.
    Hmmm. That doesn’t surprise me.

    Still think the Toon are bigger than Spuds at this moment in time Poopsy? 🙄

    Double our income stream at the moment Poopsy. There’s a great opportunity to increase the revenue and you aren’t fussed. 😯

    No wonder you’ve started posting in the early hours where no one challenges your zany views.

    Here’s Troy! 😛 😡


  22. @TAL

    you say;

    just hope we looking at a few of these out of contract players meself before spending the transfer budget

    Why wouldn’t they? That’s been our policy for the past couple of years.


  23. @BB

    Just checking up to see who’s been talking rubbish again. Your buddy Poopsy was at it again. 😆


  24. @GeordieLander

    We settled the bet yesterday man, when you agreed to a meal for two and we had bacon butties. 😛


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