Update on the Europa Conference League Picture for Aston Villa
To say the initial stages of the UEFA Europa Conference League paints a complicated picture is a bit of an understatement. Teams that lose in the Champions League qualifiers can drop into it, major clubs have faced bans from it, and the position of coefficient ratings of clubs, constantly throw up fresh permutations in terms of who’s seeded for the play-offs and what pot they’ll be in the Europa Conference League group stages draw.
Aston Villa’s Current Europa Conference League Status
As we stand, Aston Villa are currently unseeded, and in terms of coefficient expectations, are currently lined up to be in Pot Three of the draw.
How can Aston Villa Become Seeded?
Earlier this month, it was reported that Juventus would take a one-season UEFA ban on the chin and miss out on the Europa Conference League, after their points deduction in Serie A had dropped them down from Champions’ League qualification.
Such a ban would solve Aston Villa’s unseeded situation instantly and they would enter the play-off draw on August 7th, as a seeded team.
Yet, less than two-weeks out from the draw, it still hasn’t been confirmed by UEFA, if Juve are banned or not.
Juventus would prefer to take their ban now, rather than appeal and then drag the process out and potentially miss out on the Champions League next season. UEFA though, might not be so hasty in removing them from the Europa Conference League, as their inclusion would obviously boost the profile of the competition.
If Juventus do stay, then Villa will be watching the second round of qualifying this week and next with interest. They would need just one of the nine teams that have a better coefficient than them, that have to play in the 2nd round qualifiers, to get knocked out. in the first two editions of the Europa Conference League, this has always happened.
Why are Aston Villa Currently in Pot 3 of the Draw?
Good question and not ideal. Villa were in Pot 2 and expected to end up in it for the draw, but with Hungarian team Ferencvaros dropping out of the Champions League qualifiers, their superior coefficient rating has currently put them in Pot 2 at the expense of Villa.
Of course, these are projections based on coefficient ratings. If Shamrock Rovers beat Ferencvaros in the 2nd round qualifier, or if any of the teams currently above Villa, who are in the qualifiers, get knocked out, Villa will return into Pot 2.
Being unseeded in the play-off round would perhaps be more difficult than being drawn from Pot 3 for the group stages, as you’d expect Villa to navigate the ground stages comfortably. A tough play-off draw though could present a tough obstacle to clear.
There are two changes in the latest projected pots of the Europa Conference League group stage draw:— UEFA Rankings (@UefaRankings) July 24, 2023
– Ferencvaros is projected to be in the Pot 2, while Sparta Prague is projected to play the UEL
– KI Klaksvik is projected to be in the Pot 4, instead of Shamrock Rovers pic.twitter.com/b2FVDjuIwb
Osasuna are Back in the Europa Conference League
After being banned by UEFA for a historical misdemeanour, Osasuna have today successfully appealed their case before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (in Lausanne, Switzerland) and will now play in the tournament. While they rank below Villa in terms of coefficient rating, they will be one of the main threats to Villa in terms of winning the tournament.
Osasuna Europa Conference League Statement
Club Atlético Osasuna will play the Conference League 2023/24, after today the procedure before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAS) for the formula of ‘Consent Award’ has ended. In view of the new evidence provided by the club in the defense of its participation in the competition, UEFA has concluded that Osasuna was a victim of the events that occurred almost a decade ago and has valued the initiative carried out by the institution to clarify them. Consequently, UEFA considers Osasuna eligible to participate in this edition of the European competition.
Osasuna, therefore, will be present on August 7 in the Conference League playoff draw that will be played on August 24 and 31. The UEFA decision and the ratification of the TAS put an end, both in the ordinary courts and in sports justice, to the fight that the entity has maintained during the last two months in defense of its rights and those of its partners.
Opening of the file for going to ordinary justice
On the other hand, UEFA has opened a disciplinary procedure to Osasuna for going to ordinary justice in this process, which will not prevent the club’s participation in the Conference League. The club will accept the penalty imposed by UEFA, before which it will not file an appeal, and has expressed its commitment to the highest body of European football not to raise issues of the sports field to ordinary justice.
(This statement has been translated)