Europa League: Prize or Punishment?


A recent BBC survey of the last 10 seasons of Europa League football (and its predecessor, the UEFA Cup) calculated that English teams suffered an average fall of 2.3 league positions from qualifying for the Europa League, compared to the seasons when they competed in it. The Beeb crunched every season-on-season position change and analysed each league result which followed a Europa League fixture and found the following:

Club Europa League games played in season Change in league position (places) Season
Newcastle 14 -11 2012-13
Newcastle 12 -9 2004-05
Bolton 10 -9 2007-08
Everton 2 -7 2005-06
Middlesbrough 15 -7 2005-06
West Ham 2 -6 2006-07
Newcastle 12 -6 2006-07
Tottenham 10 -6 2007-08
Portsmouth 6 -6 2008-09
Fulham 19 -5 2009-10
Blackburn 8 -4 2006-07
Everton 10 -3 2009-10
Swansea 12 -3 2013-14
Aston Villa 2 -3 2010-11
Bolton 8 -2 2005-06
Manchester City 16 -1 2008-09
Fulham 14 -1 2011-12
Stoke 12 -1 2011-12
Tottenham 12 -1 2012-13
Millwall 2 0 2004-05
Tottenham 10 0 2006-07
Everton 2 0 2008-09
Aston Villa 10 0 2008-09
Aston Villa 2 0 2009-10
Everton 10 1 2007-08
Liverpool 14 1 2010-11
Tottenham 8 1 2011-12
Liverpool 12 1 2012-13
Manchester City 12 2 2010-11
Blackburn Rovers 4 3 2007-08
Tottenham 8 3 2008-09
Middlesbrough 10 4 2004-05

Two weeks ago Chairman David Gold tweeted  “We see the Europa Cup as an opportunity not a distraction. dg”



About Sean Whetstone

I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called MooreThanJustaPodcast.co.uk. A Blogger on WestHamTillIdie.com a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at http://www.youtube.com/MrWestHamFootball, I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh. Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons! Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter

12 comments on “Europa League: Prize or Punishment?

  1. Its simple,if you live life with a glass half full you look forward to it.If you are a glass half empty type of person you are already preparing for relegation,typhoons & plagues of locast to descend over The Boleyn this coming season.Bring it on,what will be will be but im looking forward to it big time 😀

  2. Couldn’t agree more,I’m fed up with the fatalist attitude lets go for it and have some fun

  3. Sean wetpant.com would love all these numbers and tables but for me not intreasted,
    As Rads says you wait years in this club to play in Europe and enjoy away days with interest,if the boring people are worried weather we finish 12 or 14 let them quake in there pits,but we wer hoping with a new manager and 6 or 7 new players we would be looking at 6th or 7th or better,
    Play a bit of Bob Marley you losers DONT WORRY

  4. Cant wait for it to start.European football under the lights at UP.Whats not to like.I leave the worrying & concerns to other people,i see it as an adventure,not a ****ing death sentence.People need to grow a pair & man up.There again many of these people were the same ones happy with Mr.Stability!

  5. The only reason that teams fall away in seasons when they’re in the UEFA Cup is because they live down to the expectation – “oh, playing Thursday and Sunday wrecks the cycle, we’ll never do well, what’s the point…”. It’s as much down to mental attitude as physical conditioning. If the players do look at this, then we need to urge them to ignore it, and be as excited about the prospect of European nights as we (mostly) are. I’m damned excited!!!

  6. As a glass half empty sort of guy I feel duty bound to comment – qualifying through the Fair Play League hardly seems ‘fair’ after ending up in thirteenth position in the real League!

    The criteria used by the Fair Play league are dubious to say the least – Stoke getting marked down for singing ‘Delilah’ is a perfect example of this.

    Our Squad is not strong enough to support the extra games without serious reinforcements – I suppose it’s a perfect opportunity to give the kids an airing!

    The biggest negative for me is that games are played on a Thursday and ‘proper’ League games then move to Sunday’s – you are always playing catch-up which has a negative effect on the Club – but more importantly I hate Sunday games.

    Ah well, I suppose you just have to get on with it – let’s pray we don’t pick up too many injuries!

  7. Lmao,what a bundle of joy you are Michael.I dont think you have a glass half empty,i think it is bone dry 😀

  8. Michael still don’t understand the difference between playing in the early stages of cup to playing friendlies ?
    We play Sunday football like all clubs go to church on Friday instead like the rest of us,
    We always pick injuries and still seem to filled a side every game and let’s face it we played our best football last year when certain people were injured,
    Treat it like a surprise day or night out and go and enjoy it,let the 2 saves worry about the squad and injuries,
    Life is to short to worry every day GET A LIFE BEFORE ITS TO LATE

  9. This is why BFS was such a strategic manager. By not having teams climb high enough in the table they were able to avoid Europe and thus be able to do better in the league! Sheer and utter Brilliance!

    Unfortunately, due to the Fairy Play League, West Ham accidentally made it into Europe. He chose, then, to leave because he could not guarantee climbing out of the bottom half next year without cutting his Holiday short.

  10. That’s written so well I genuinely can’t tell if you’re brilliantly funny or a deluded Samarette. Sam was so cunning he quickly took us out of those Champions League places that threaten to ruin all those so called successful teams

  11. BFS is going for FIFA president with Curtis as his number 2 as they can see more money in it,you will collect 3 points for a draw 0 points for a win -1 point for every goal you score
    2 extra points for every clean sheet,
    It will be a foul if you pass the ball less than 2 yards
    The rest to follow after his election,

    • You would also get fined for playing too many players in their correct position. That fine would get reduced if you made the same substitutions for the next game.

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