The draw for the 2019/20 Champions League group stage takes place at 23:00 on August 29 in Monaco. Before the draw, the European Football Confederation (UEFA) received much criticism for the seed ranking, as well as the format of competition right from the preliminary round of the Champions League.
Why are Ajax and Real Madrid ranked in the second seed group? Why did Ajax, the team that won the Champions League four times in the past, reach the semi-finals last season to attend the third qualifying round of the Champions League 2019/20?
Ajax is one of the last 3 teams to fill in their names for the 2019/20 Champions League group stage draw. The Dutch club overtook representatives from Cyprus, Apoel Nicosia in the fourth qualifying round (last qualifying round) of the Champions League.
Earlier, Ajax had to start the Champions League season in the third qualifying round, which many European football experts described as “injustice”.
“Ajax is one of the most attractive and successful teams in the Champions League in the 2018/19 season,” the Guardian commented. The Dutch club defeated both Real and Juventus to reach the semi-finals of the tournament. However, Ajax did not qualify for the Champions League group stage next season.
This is derived from the calculation of the “national coefficient” of UEFA (UEFA coefficient). It is used to assess the performance of clubs in European countries in the Champions League and Europa League, on a 4-year cycle.
Ajax’s performance in the 2018/19 Champions League has no effect on Ajax’s Champions League qualification for the 2019/20 season. UEFA calculates the performance of Dutch clubs from the 2013/14 season to the 2017/18 season to rank Ajax in the third round of the Champions League 2019/20 season.
The decline of the Dutch clubs many years ago made Ajax pay the price, even though they had just had a magical Champions League season. On Yahoo Sports, writer Leander Schaerlaeckens believes it is too unfair for Ajax to attend the Champions League third qualifying round due to the achievements of the country clubs.
Guardian writer Simon Burnton agrees. He said it was too unfair for Ajax’s current squad, when they were influenced by the performance of five or six years ago.