Discussion in 'Soccer' started by maclean, Jul 20, 2018.
So Gent is not in Europe after finishing 5th overall? A team that finished between 7-15 could be?
It's pretty dumb but when they reformed the league and introduced a playoff system they wanted to give teams 7-15 something to play for.
It's even crazier when you consider that the 2nd and 3rd placed teams from the second division (the champions are promoted) also take part in that 7-15 playoff, so in theory, the 5th placed team could miss out on Europa while a second division team could go on a run and make the Europa League.
Complete nonsense. UEFA allowing this is funny.
It's a dumb system but that's no reason to not allow it
There could be changes coming though. Next week, all professional football clubs in Belgium will vote to either keep or change the current format for the 2019-20 season. However, 80% of the votes are needed to change the format (which in all likelihood will not happen).
Then before the start of the 2020-21 season, a new TV deal will have to be negotiated and the competition format will be reviewed once again, but then only 60% (I believe) of the votes will be needed to change things. So there's a very good chance that this playoff system will come to an end soon.
How about soccer fans in general in Belgium, do they massively hate this format? It makes no sense at all.
I wouldn't say there is "massive" hate towards this format. It's basically split into four groups;
1. Neutral fans - they are the biggest fans of this format, they basically get to watch the biggest clubs go at eachother for the final two months of the season (and with this format, the title race almost always comes down to the penultimate or final game)
2. Fans of the "Big Five" (Brugge, Anderlecht, Standard, Genk, Gent) - the general feeling among this group is that they like the playoff system, which I don't think is that surprising since they much rather see their team play in big games than face smaller clubs, but they hate the fact that when starting the playoffs their point totals get cut in half
3. Fans of the teams just outside of the "Big Five" - there's a couple of smaller clubs who are fighting to make the championship playoff as an underdog each year (Charleroi, Zulte Waregem etc.) they are big fans of this current format because it gives them something to fight for until the final matchday. Before there were playoffs these teams would just finish 7th or 8th and basically know their season was over by January/February because they weren't going to climb much higher in the standings.
4. Fans of the small teams - they mostly dislike the system, they know they'll never make the championship playoff and when the regular season's done they have to play the other small teams 10 more times in a playoff system where they have nothing to lose (or gain) also, literally nobody watches these playoffs, crowds are generally smaller as well, players aren't motivated anymore etc.
It's not much better when you go ask around between team presidents either though. Some of them (Genk, Gent) desperately want to keep the current format, Anderlecht wants a regular season only with 16 clubs, Brugge want a regular season with 20 clubs.. These teams have to vote on the format but everybody wants something else..
@Savi; the idea of a Beneliga seems to have faded away. How do the 'Belgen' feel about it?
Most fans aren't interested in a Beneliga. I'm certainly not. Having to play Groningen, Utrecht or Willem II does absolutely nothing for me. I barely even watch Dutch football anymore these days outside of Ajax or PSV. Ten years ago I could probably name the full starting lineup of AZ and now I'm watching them and not recognizing anyone
No, I like the Belgian League as it is now. It's really competitive, much more than the Dutch League. So it's a no thanks from most Belgians and I wouldn't be surprised about most Dutch people feeling the same way.
They do, but I reckon if both leagues drop the bottom feeders and merge, you'd have a strong league. I think Ajax will grow stronger if they compete with the likes of Brugge rather than Excelsior. Just not a whole lot of enthusiasm from the lower ranked sides., which I understand.
Exactly. A BeNe League looks good on the surface but if you look closer it will have more con's than pro's.
I do like the idea of the top Belgian and Dutch clubs playing each other though and some ideas could still be explored. Maybe a Cup tournament could work.
Or reduce both leagues to a 16 team/30 round league with the season ending in April, then in May you could have like an 8 team BeNe Tournament with the top 4 from each league going up against eachother (round robin, semi finals, Final). Could be fun.
Since your discussing Belgium i'd like to ask a question. How is it that almost every player that comes from the swedish league Allsvenskan to play in your league fails huge? Not just swedish players, but also players from other countries that happen to play in Allsvenskan and then being bought by a Belgian club never makes it. I think of players such as Anders Christiansen, Neto Borges etc who was absolute topclass in the swedish league and then couldn't make it all in Belgium. And now Club Brügge are buying Odilon Kossounou from Hammarby who has not impressed at all so far. Huge risk everytime he's been on the pitch. Still young and the potential is high though. Also some rumours that a Belgian club want's to sign Benjamin Nygren from IFK Göteborg who looks like the most promising striker in swedish football right now. I've heard something about the style of Belgian football are being taught from the early years and that the first team plays exactly the same kind of football as the minors do? Can it be that is hard for players who hasn't been educated into your system from the beginning to come in and understand the game?
No, I think that's BS. I mean, how different is the Swedish League from let's say Norway or Denmark? Because there have been plenty of excellent buys from those countries in recent memory. Even this season for instance Krepin Diatta (Club Brugge, from Sarpsborg), Joakim Maehle (Genk, from Aalborg) and especially Sander Berge (Genk, from Valerenga) who looks like the Scandinavian Frenkie De Jong, have exploded. So it's not like the Belgian League is a cemetary for Scandinavians.
Honestly if you look closer you'll see it depends on which team those players end up. I think Gent and Genk are the most frequent buyers when it comes to players from Allsvenskan. But the contrast in success is HUGE.
Look at Gent in recent years: Erik Johansson (Malmo), Emir Kujovic (Norrkoping), Jacob Rinne (Orebro), Tesfaldet Tekie (Norrkoping), Anders Christiansen (Malmo), Eric Smith (Norrkoping) and the list goes on.. Every single one of those players has been a failure and almost all of them have already been sold again (or loaned). Even their buys from Norway such as Gustav Wikheim (Stromgodset) or Simon Diedhiou (Haugesund) have been terrible. But then you take a look at what Genk is doing, besides Maehle and Berge, they have bought Jere Uronen (Helsingborg) who was a big part of their title winning team. They bought Omar Colley (Djurgarden) and sold him to Sampdoria for big money and replaced him with Joseph Aidoo (Hammarby) who looks great as well. They were in on Odilon Koussounou as well (he ultimately chose Club Brugge), and as you said are trying to sign Benjamin Nygren. Neto Borges I wouldn't say can't make it, he just hasn't had the chance yet because Genk are pretty deep at their back positions.
So no, it doesn't have anything to do with having to be educated in a "Belgian system", some teams just suck at integrating Scandinavian players while others excel.
Saw that Sochi will have a RPL club next season for the first time ever but their club is basically a MLS style move. They were only formed shortly before the start of the World Cup when a billionaire bought the club Dynamo St. Petersburg and simply moved them to Sochi. This same billionaire was basically responsible for the construction of most of the Sochi Olympic venues
They really couldnt do better than Neil Lennon?
To continue the Q&A, I was previously based in Eindhoven, do you think that in Belgium there is any clear division in these matters between the Flemish and the Walloon clubs? To me it seemed that a rivalry could develop fairly easily between PSV and the Great Old for example, but between as you suggest Groningen and Charleroi there's little reason to expect such development.
Belgian season ended today with Antwerp defeating Charleroi 3-2 in the Europa League playoff game. Remarkable feat for Antwerp who were in the second division just two years ago and now will play European football for the first time in 25 years.
Fun fact: to this day, Antwerp still are the last Belgian club to reach a European final; in 1993 they lost the Cup Winners' Cup final at Wembley to Parma
Well there's basically only 2 Wallon clubs (Standard Liege, and Charleroi). There's also Mouscron, but they're located right on the Flemish-Wallon border. And there's AS Eupen, they are located in the far east of Belgium, in a German speaking community, and they're a small club who only survive because they're an affiliate of Qatar's Aspire Academy.
Charleroi don't even have a rivalry with any other Belgian team (except for Standard because they're Wallon) so they would probably be very opposed to a BeNe League.
Some clubs do have friendly relationships with Dutch teams (Club Brugge and ADO Den Haag; Anderlecht and Ajax) as a result of that I do think Brugge/Ajax could develop into a good rivalry (Brugge fans hate Ajax anyway because of their link to Anderlecht), maybe Anderlecht/Feyenoord as well. Standard hate Anderlecht deeply, same goes for Antwerp fans vs Brugge, so not sure how that would translate to Dutch teams but there's definitely potential for rivalries between Flemish and Dutch teams.
Lokomotiv Moscow clinch the 2nd CL spot for Russia on h2h over Krasnodar, back to back seasons in the CL for them. Krasnodar will need to go through qualifiers in their bid for their first ever CL campaign. CSKA failed to qualify for the CL for the first time since 2012
Croatian league season ended today, not that too many care
Dinamo Zagreb won their 2nd consecutive title (13th in last 14 season) with ease, by 23 points, despite rotating their squad frequently with their deep EL run. Rijeka were distant 2nd but won the cup. For their manager, ex-Liverpool player Igor Biscan, its his 4th trophy in 3 seasons as a manager (2nd division title with Rudes, double winners in Slovenia with Olimpija last season and now this cup). Osijek and Hajduk round up the final EL spots, same as last season. Rudes down after two seasons, Varazdin up, city with first division tradition but this club is newly formed after Varteks Varazdin dissolved in 2012. Relegation playoff is between Istra & Sibenik with the first division side always being the heavy favorite
With Dinamo being this dominant (and going on a nice Europa run) I guess they will lose some of their top players again?
Olmo is 100% going and for a big fee as well, Milan were strongly linked but not sure what their finances are if they fail to make the CL. They will probably lose a couple more, but they have a good generation of youngsters coming through though. The goalie might leave too, especially if he becomes the Croatia #1 with Lovre Kalinic being a bust at Villa so far
Also I don’t know if he was pumping up his value (he has since become the highest paid manager in Cro league history topping the well known Halilhodzic) but their manager Nenad Bjelica claims he turned down a La Liga job to stay at Dinamo
(not a domestic league, but couldn't find a better spot)
Team forfeits CAF Champions League final after VAR malfunction devolves into chaos
Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca forfeited the CAF Champions League final after an hour-long protest for an incorrect refereeing decision and a VAR debacle at the match in Tunisia.
Gambian referee Bakari Gassama ruled out a 58th minute goal by Wydad midfielder Walid El Karti, and VAR was unavailable for consultation due to a technical malfunction. According to London-based Egyptian reporter Ahmad Yousef, the teams were not informedof the malfunction, and Wydad refused to re-take the pitch over the decision.
With the forfeiture, Tunisian club Esperance de Tunis was crowned 2019 CAF Champions League winners, the club’s fourth continental championship.
The 1-1 first-leg draw in Morocco was also marred with controversy, as Egyptian referee Gehad Grisha was suspended for six months after a pair of incorrect decisions were made despite having consulted VAR. That brought Gassama into the mix to officiate the second leg.
KV Mechelen have today been found guilty of (attempted) match fixing.
- They were in the 2nd division this year, which they won. However their promotion to the 1st division will be cancelled.
- So, next season they'll still be in D2 where they will start on -12 points.
- They have been banned from playing in the Belgian Cup next year (they won the Cup this season)
- They have been banned from playing in Europe next year. AA Gent, 5th placed team in the League, will take their place.
- Mechelen's sporting director, financial director, their former chairman and their majority shareholder have all been suspended for 10 years
Beerschot (club based in Antwerp) will now be promoted to the 1st division instead of Mechelen. One of the oldest clubs of Belgium who have been plagued by a lot of financial trouble in the past 10-15 years including being sent down all the way back to the amateur leagues, having to play their back up the now, finally, 1st division again.
This also means that for the first time in almost 20 years, both big traditional Antwerp clubs (Beerschot and FC Antwerp) are back in the top league where they belong and we'll have a renewal of this great rivalry.
Also.. Mechelen will almost certainly appeal the decision so this is all temporary of course.
Krasnodar is very interesting team to follow. I've already said that their management should hold some sort of seminar for other Russian teams of how to run a franchise the smart way.
They have a good financial backing, but they try to get value out of it instead of getting into big bidding wars over 2nd rate foreign players.
Plus they've made a BIG investment into their youth program and it is already paying dividends. It's only the beginning imo. They arguably have the best school in Russia and constantly fill junior NT rosters.
I don't expect big results next season, but they are just beginning.
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