How are the UEFA Futsal Club Coefficients worked out?
(EDIT: this was going to be a quick run down of the regulations that decide the club coefficients and how teams can move up… turned into a full day of maths and the help of a few friends to try and decipher the regulations!)
So, with last week’s draw taking place and the below table showing the seedings and paths that teams take, the question has arisen, how do they work out the coefficient? We all know that it’s performance in previous seasons that determine how teams are seeded, but how is it calculated and how can we get further up? How far are English champions off from a place in the main round?
So let’s have a look at the UEFA regulations and see if we can work it out and simplify it!
UEFA calculates the coefficient of each club participating in the UEFA Futsal Champions League based on the clubs’ own results (club points) and the results of other clubs from the same association (association points) achieved during the reference period. These coefficients are primarily used to rank the clubs for seeding purposes, and to determine the stage at which the clubs enter the competition.A.1 System overview
Simply put, a club’s own performances and clubs from the same country affect the ranking.
The coefficient rankings for the 2022/23 UEFA Futsal Champions League are drawn up, on the basis of the points awarded to each club participating in the competition (club points) and to other clubs from the same association (association points) in seasons 2019/20 to 2021/22 inclusive.A.2 Reference period for the calculation of the coefficient
It is based on the previous three seasons, 19/20, 20/21 and 21/22.
Club points are calculated for each round by adding up the match points and bonus points received and dividing the total by the number of matches played. The club points for each round are then added together to produce the total club points for a given season.A.3 Club points
Match points and the bonus points (1 for reaching the main round, 3 for each subsequent round) are added up and divided by the number of matches in that round. This seems to be the cause of some of the problems. It seems from my workings below that the 1 point awarded for entering in the main round is NOT divided by all the matches in the main round, which makes sense, because it would be wrong for a team from the preliminary round having more points than a team entering at the main round stage.
Association points are calculated by adding up the club points received by all the clubs from a given association over the reference period.A.4 Association points
Association points are used to reward teams from strong leagues entering. Imagine Palma Futsal entering in the preliminary round!
Points are awarded in accordance with the final scores as ratified by UEFA. Penalty shoot-outs are not taken into consideration. For preliminary round matches, points are awarded as follows:
1 point for a win, 0.5 points for a draw and 0 points for a defeat.
From the main round (from the round of 32 in the 2020/21 UEFA Futsal Champions League) onwards, points are awarded as follows:
2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a defeatA.6 Match points
Clubs that enter the competition in the main round are awarded one bonus point. Clubs that reach the elite round (the quarter-finals in the 2020/21 UEFA Futsal Champions League), semi-finals or final are awarded three bonus points for each such round. The result of third-place matches do not count.A.7 Bonus points
The system in action
Let’s look at PYF Saltires (an easy example with just one appearance in one season). They won one match in 2019/20 in a group with four teams and they were awarded 0.333 points (1 point, divided by 3 matches). They would also get 50% of this as that is Scotland’s association points total. So as per the 2022/23 ranking, PYF Saltires have 0.500.
Let’s take a look at a new club entering from an association with a good record, such as Citta di Eboli from Italy with 3.833 (50% of Italy’s points). We’ll look at all previous Italian team results in the last three seasons. Eboli entered in the main round, despite having never played in the UCL. This is because of Italy’s good record.
- 21/22 main round – Pesaro entered in the main round (1 point) and won 1 match in the main round (2), which = 2 points divided by 3 matches. 0.666 points, plus the main round 1 bonus point total 1.666.
- 20/21 preliminary round – Pesaro won 1 match (1) in the preliminary round qualifying for the main round (round of 32). 1 point.
- 20/21 main round – They drew (and lost on penalties) in the main round of 32. 1 point. ***
- 19/20 main round – Pesaro entered in the main round (1 point). They won 3 games of 3 in the main round (6). 6 points divided by 3 = 2 points, total 3 points.
- 19/20 Elite round – Qualifying for the elite round (3 points). They then won 1 (2) and drew 1 (1) in the elite round, which would be 6 points divided by 3 matches. 2 points
- Total association points for Italy is therefore 7.666, which gives a new club 3.833.
- *** I don’t believe this point was added to the total so I haven’t either, this gives a correct outcome.
Let’s have a look at another example – Poland. Piast Gliwice is a new team, so they’ll get 50% of Poland’s previous entrants’ points – 2.333.
- 21/22 main round – Rekord entered in the main round (1 point) and won 1, drew 1 in the main round (3), which = 3 points divided by 3 matches. 1 point.
- 20/21 preliminary round – Rekord won 1 match (1) in the preliminary round qualifying for the main round (round of 32). 1 point.
- 20/21 main round – They lost in the main round of 32. 0 points
- 19/20 main round – Rekord entered in the main round (1 point). They won 1 games of 3 in the main round (2). 2 points divided by 3 = 0.666 point
- Total association points for Poland is therefore 4.666, which gives a new club 2.333
3rd time lucky…
Sweden’s entry ÖSK Örebro have 0.833 points. Let’s have a look at the last 3 seasons of Swedish entrants.
- 21/22 preliminary round – Hammarby IF won 2 matches of 3. So 2 points, divided by 3. 0.666 points
- 21/22 main round – they didn’t win any matches. 0 points.
- 20/21 preliminary round – Hammarby IF lost in the preliminary round. 0 points.
- 19/20 main round – Uddevalla entered in the main round. 1 point. They lost all three matches.
- It looks like the point for getting to the main round is not divided as this would give Sweden 1.666 points, which is 0.833 points for ÖSK.
Okay, so 3 of 4 examples I’ve managed to work out perfectly. It requires the 1 point awarded for entering in the main round to not be divided by number of matches played, which is fair as this is in place of a team getting a maximum of 1 point for winning 3 games (3/3=1) in the preliminary round.
However, I can’t figure out why the Italian example has 1 extra point. Maybe the point wasn’t awarded for the draw in the 20/21 season when they drew and lost on penalties. I’ve asked UEFA to clear it up!
How can an English team get direct entry into the main round?
Helvecia, currently with 1.500 points, would go into next season with 0.333 plus whatever they pick up this season as most of those 1.5 points came from 19/20 when they won two matches. 19/20 won’t be relevant any more.
Well to enter directly into the main round in the future, Helvecia would need to get through the preliminary round this season. This would take them to 1.333 and then each win in the main round would gain 0.666. 2 wins in the main round would get 2.666 points and they would stick for the following season, so it’s not enough. If they were to get into the elite round, they’d get 3 bonus points divided by 3. So let’s assume they win 3 matches in the main round, they’d be on 4.333 without having to pick up a win in the elite round. This is then divided by two if a new team enters.
It’s not easy to gain a foothold in the main round, but a couple of successive seasons getting there, or one elite round appearance, is what’s needed realistically.
So in conclusion, it isn’t simple and I hope this article can save you from ever having to do the maths yourselves! I am still waiting clarification on some of the wording, because as you can see, I may not have it perfect.
Support the team from your country
In football, I don’t buy into the “support English teams in Europe” sentiment, but in futsal there is a good reason to! If working in England next season and you have ambitions of getting into the Champions League, then you’d be better off if Helvecia go as far as possible this year, but realistically, it’s going to take a few years of main round participations for England’s entrant to start there.
More examples to test the formula
Malta. Luxol St. Andrew’s. A team in the last 3 editions.
- 21/22 preliminary round round – won 3 matches in the preliminary round. 3 points / 3 matches = 1 point
- 21/22 main round – won 1 (2) and drew 1 (1) in 3 matches. 3 points / 3 matches = 1 point
- 20/21 preliminary round – Luxol won 1 match (1) in the preliminary round qualifying for the main round (round of 32). 1 point.
- 20/21 main round – They lost in the main round of 32. 0 points
- 19/20 preliminary round – won 3 matches in the preliminary round. 3 points / 3 matches = 1 point
- 19/20 main round – the drew 1 match (1) in the main round. 0.333 points
- Total association points for Malta is therefore 4.333. These are also Luxol’s points. Luxol get 4.333 plus 50% of the association points. 6.500
Serbia. Loznica-Grad. From 5th to 35th in the ranking.
- 21/22 FON entered in the main round – (1) won 1 (2) in 3 matches. 2 points / 3 matches + 1 BP = 1.666 points
- 20/21 Red Star Belgrade entered in the preliminary round and lost. 0 points
- 19/20 Main round. Ekonomac entered in the main round (1) and drew 1 (1) and lost 2. 1 points / 3 matches = 0.333 + 1 bp = 1.333
- Total association points for Serbia is therefore 2.999 points. Loznica-Grad, having not played in any of the previous 3 editions should have 50% of that – 1.499
Azerbaijan. Araz. Regulars.
- 21/22 Araz won 2 and drew 1 in the preliminary round. 2.5/3 points = 0.833
- 21/22 Araz won 1 drew 1 in the main round. 3/3 points = 1 point.
- 20/21 Araz entered in the preliminary round and lost on penalties. 0 points*
- 19/20 Araz, ranked 10, entered the main round (1) and lost all three matches = 1 point.
- Total association points for Azerbaijan is therefore 2.833 points. These are all Araz’s points therefore for 2022/23 they will have 2.833 plus 50% of 2.833 = 4.250
- *as with the Eboli situation, it seems the point for a draw is not given. Only a defeat or a win as it was a knockout match. This is despite the regulations saying that penalty shootouts don’t count and the result is taken at full time. It was, however, the covid season so perhaps this is the reason.
Lithuania. Zalgiris Futsal, formerly Vytis. I’ll use Zalgiris for the calculations.
- 21/22 Zalgiris entered in the main round (1) and drew 1 (1). 1/3 points = 1.333
- 20/21 Zalgiris entered in the preliminary round and won. 1 point.
- 20/21 Won in the main round (2) and lost in the round of 16 – 2 points
- 19/20 Zalgiris entered in the main round (1) and lost all three matches = 1 point
- Total association points = 5.333 * 50% = 2.666 + Zalgiris points 5.333 = 8.000 – I can’t figure out why I get 8 and not 7.500. 0.333 points need removing somehow…
Belgium. RSC Anderlecht Futsal, formerly Halle-Gook. I’ll use RSCA for the rest of this calculation.
- 21/22 RSCA entered in the main round (1) and won 1 (2), qualifying for the elite round round. 2/3 points = 1.666
- 21/22 RSCA won 1 in the elite round (2). Plus 3 bonus points for reaching elite round. 5/3 = 1.666
- 20/21 Charleroi entered in the preliminary round and won. They lost in the main round. 1 point.
- 19/20 RSCA entered in the main round (1) and won 1 (2), qualifying for the elite round round. 2/3 points = 1.666
- 19/20 RSCA won 1 in the elite round (2). Plus 3 bonus points for reaching elite round. 5/3 = 1.666
- Total association points = 7.664 * 50% = 3.832 + RSCA points 6.664 = 10.496 – the discrepancy is because I used 1.666 in the calculations rather than 1 and 2/3s.