Over the past four years, our boys have shone on the biggest stage in European football. The Champions League has given us spectacular memories, incredible away trips with the fans and unforgettable festivals of football. The best way of ensuring we have plenty more of those in the future is by getting an automatic spot in the Champions League for the winners of the ADMIRAL Bundesliga. The top ten countries in UEFA's five-year coefficients gain this honour. Austria is currently in tenth position, so it is still touch and go.
Let's take a look at the latest list, which will impact competitions in 2024/25 – the first year of the new reformed European set-up.
There is very little separating eighth and ninth in the list. Austria's representatives are comfortably trailing number eight, Belgium, however. The country's lead representatives, Club Brugge, became the biggest surprise package of the Champions League in autumn, securing a spot in the last 16 in impressive fashion. Union Saint-Gilloise (in the UEFA Europa League), Anderlecht and Gent (in the UEFA Europa Conference League) are all also still in European competitions. The gap of a good five points in the coefficient will not be closed.
This is where it gets interesting! Rangers (after a dreadful campaign) and great rivals Celtic (who took two points) are out of the Champions League and Europe, after finishing bottom of their groups. Heart of Midlothian are also out of the Conference League. That means the Scots will be unable to add any points to their UEFA coefficient in the spring. Andi Ulmer & Co need to make the quarter-final of the Europa League, at least, to catch them though.
Our Red Bulls have been responsible for a large chunk of Austria's points. Our decent UEFA Champions League campaign saw us take 40 percent of our country's total this season. WAC and Rapid Vienna were unable to make the UEFA Europa Conference League group stages, while Austria Vienna had a campaign to forget with two draws and four defeats. Runners-up Sturm Graz did well to get eight points in the Europa League, but still could only finish fourth and are out.
Our boys therefore will be playing for Austria too in their Europa League play-off against AS Roma in the spring.
There is little danger of Serbia overtaking us. Only Partizan Belgrade are still in Europe with Sheriff Tiraspol ahead in the Conference League play-off. Red Star Belgrade just missed out on making that.
Watch out, Turkey mean business! Our lead of 2.5 points might seem comfortable, but there are still four Turkish clubs active. Fenerbahce, Basaksehir, Sivasspor and Trabzonspor are the quartet who could challenge us for an automatic spot in the Champions League.
The UEFA five-year coefficient determines how many clubs a country will have in European competitions and how many in each of the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League. A points system is used. The current season in Europe and past four seasons are added up to make a ranking of the 55 UEFA members .
The 32 UEFA Champions League teams get four points each for reaching the group stage of the competition. From the group stage, two points for every win are added to the UEFA five-year coefficient, and one for every draw – no matter the competition. Progressing to latter stages brings a number of bonus points depending on the competition. The overall number of points are divided by the number of teams representing each country - currently five in the case of Austria.