We haven’t seen the most luxurious European Cup Express of the Champions League in Slovakia for a long time. A lower-quality express train called the European League sometimes flashes under the Tatras, but it is also mostly in the next station, when we reach the platform.
Now comes the “motorbike” European Conference League, which we will find out later if it is at least equipped with air conditioning. In the first place, however, we need to be seduced not only by the pre-round stops, but it will be important to perform regularly at the main one (competition).
Passengers coming from behind the border will be a little less interesting in the new train, but sometimes lucrative fellow passengers, or rather “counter-passengers”, will also miss.
Teams from the sixth place in the Italian, Spanish, German or English leagues will also be waiting in the playoffs (although the ticket from the Islands belongs primarily to the winner of the League Cup), which would mean less attractive but definitely demanding opponents Hoffenheim and San Sebastian this season. , but also possible exclusive confrontations with Ibrahimovic’s AC Milan or Tottenham Harry Kana.
The place in the European League was also lost by the countries that are significantly above us in the UEFA club ranking, which is responsible for the deployment and number of clubs in individual competitions. From this point of view, we have little to regret.
What’s worse is that our long-term unsystematic work has taken us to the position that we are starting from the very bottom in the “third league” as well. At the same time, it was enough to be two places higher in the ranking and we would have all three representatives automatically in the 2nd preliminary round. There is a huge difference whether you need to overcome four or “only” three obstacles to advance to the group, which is a regular big goal of Slovak clubs.
UEFA has not yet announced how big a financial package it will distribute in the new competition. Or how the remuneration will change in the European League. The conference league offers as a reward a seat in the European League group for the overall winner, but we will not be interested in this bonus. What will be important for the teams from the Slovak league will be what money will be spent by the competition management for individual preliminary rounds and participation in the main competition.
How big will it be compared to the money earned so far for qualifying performances in the European League? It already earned less than in the Champions League. For example, Slovan improved by five million euros in the successful autumn autumn of 2019 in the European League. Budget for one season. However, if he advanced to the Champions League group, he would earn – with the same gain of 4 points – more than 20 million. And it would be “healed” for several years.