Saturday, 2 November 2019

Exclusive: The Great Con of Europe & how Rangers defied the impossible - part 3

In the final part of our investigation, we posit a very bleak picture and a dramatic solution...
The dreaded coefficient is averaged over a five-year period, and Scotland will in the next two years soon get rid of its two lowest scores. Then there are the countries above us. Currently, four of the countries above us (Greece, Croatia, Switzerland, and Belarus) will next year lose their highest scores in the last five years. Because of this statistical fluke, Scotland looks like we will be able to leap-frog many of the teams above us, and it now looks like was we are in line to take 14th position in the Coefficient table. A jump that would not have been possible if Rangers had not reached the group stages last year.

Position (2018 (2019))  Country            2014     2015     2016            2017     2018     2019    
13 (13)                         Czech               3.875    7.300    5.500            5.500    6.500    2.300   
14  (15)                        Greece             6.200    5.400    5.800            5.100    5.100    3.900   
15  (18)                        Croatia             6.875    4.500    5.125            5.125    5.750    4.125   
16  (14)                        Denmark          2.900    5.500    8.500            5.250    4.875    2.625   
17  (20)                        Switzerland      6.900    5.300    4.300            6.500    3.900    2.800   
18  (16)                        Cyprus             3.300    3.000    5.500            7.000    6.125    3.625   
19  (24)                        Belarus             5.500    5.125    3.000            3.250    5.500    2.500   
20  (17)                        Serbia              2.750    4.250    2.875            6.375    6.000    5.250   
21  (19)                        Scotland           4.000    3.000    4.375            4.000    6.750    6.500   
22                                Sweden             3.900    4.750    2.750            5.375    4.125    4.500   

However, despite this being fantastic news, and another couple of wins each for both Rangers and Celtic would substantially improve our position next year, there is still one problem and that is one trip in just one year can dramatically affect a country’s place in this table, and it is designed to be far easier to drop down the table than it is to climb up the table.

Taking a totally hypothetical situation, even if all four Scottish representatives had qualified for the group stages, Scotland would still have only picked up 13 points. Remember England gets 23.5 points before kicking one single ball.

Then, if each Scottish team did the impossible and they all got 4 wins and 2 draws each, with one team being in the group stages of the Champions League and three teams in the Europa League, Scotland would then be able to gather an incredible 40 points (yeah, I know it’s not real, but the point is to get this amazing haul, the Scottish contingent would have played a combined total of 56 games of football, with no loses and only 8 draws in that series).

If we look over the border at England, assuming Wolves had lost in the qualifiers, and only 6 teams remained, England’s 6 surviving teams only would have to each win 2 games and draw 3 to get 42 points for their national coefficient, and with that terrible record they would still be moving ahead of an almost-perfect Scotland.

The number of games played by English teams in this hypothetical example is just 36. That is 20 games less, a substantially worse win rate, and Scotland would still lose ground on England in the coefficient table.

No matter how you look at it, the game is rigged, and the damage is every time Scottish club gets any good players, the rich teams from England come calling and we are left to look around for the next great talent.

And the worse thing is, just one bad result, and the coefficient comes tumbling down, taking the entire country with it, which makes one wonder why loud-mouthed reporters from the Scottish Newspapers are all screaming left, right and centre to everyone out there to buy the very best Scottish players and take them away from Scottish clubs.

Games are sometimes won and lost by a single moment of genius, and the fewer players we have that can manage to do that magic on the big stage, the more chance we have of crashing out of the qualifiers early.

We at Ibrox Noise can only see one way for Scottish clubs to move up this stupid coefficient table, and that is for everyone to start working together. There is actually a world out there beyond the Scottish border with England, and it will need newspaper reporters, the SFA, and the Scottish teams to start trying to raise the Scottish game, rather than always working to hinder those who are trying their best to raise the Scottish coefficient.

Otherwise, they moneymen will win, and Scotland will sooner or later drop down the rankings again.

Newspaper have to stop peddling transfer stories, and to stop trying to get the very best players moved out of the Scottish game.

Morelos might not be popular amongst Celtic fans, because his presence means Celtic now have a real race on their hands, but do we have to have a fake story every week about yet another club who is looking to sign our best striker.

Finally, a team will come looking, and buy the top players in Scotland, and we will suddenly find our national game is no longer all that exciting to watch.

Think about it. You never see English newspapers shouting every day about all the top talent in England that should be sold to Spain. They want to keep their best players, and the press truly help the English clubs.

Our press does just the opposite, they attack players for the smallest mistakes, and they constantly try to sell Scotland’s best players to “so-called” better leagues.

Scottish football is facing a difficult time. UEFA has stacked the table very much against us, and sadly the Scottish press have made the decision to make the challenge even more difficult. Being blunt, the Scottish press is no longer helping the Scottish fans who dream of seeing just any Scottish team at the top of the footballing world.

And yet… it could be so different. Couldn’t it?

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