Ajax aren’t happy with UCL regulations

Ajax aren’t happy with UCL regulations

The Netherlands Ajax players were outraged by the club’s participation in the Champions League qualification, rather than getting directly into the group stage.

The Netherlands Championship is not very famous for its clubs in European competitions, in addition to the regular participants of Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord. Last season, the Amsterdam team got into the semifinals, won the domestic championship and the cup, but according to the rules, they started from the third qualification round anyway.

The Netherlands occupy the 12th position in the UEFA coefficient table. After the top five leagues in Europe, the championships of Russia, Portugal, Belgium, Ukraine, Turkey and Austria are ahead of them. In order to have at least one representative immediately at the group stage, the Dutchmen need to get around the Austrians in the table. At the moment, the gap between them is less than one point, which can be overtaken during the upcoming season.

However, it’s difficult to talk about the long term, when in the third qualification round Ajax barely scratched their way to the playoffs through the matches with the Greek PAOK (2:2 and 3:2). After the game, the captain of the team Dusan Tadic could not resist the angry comments,

“We are the semi-finalists of the Champions League, but we have to play in the qualification. It’s a disgrace. Anything can happen in the qualification games. Just look at the eliminated Porto.”

On the one hand, Tadic is right, since Ajax really gave out a solid season, having passed Juventus and Real Madrid. On the other hand, there are no prerequisites for this to happen again. The spontaneous season is over, two strongholds of the success of the team, de Jong and de Ligt, have left. Therefore, they need to prove their greatness this season, so that next year there would be no difficulties getting into the group stage. It is quite possible to get around Austria and Turkey.

Now Ajax will have a meeting with the Cypriot APOEL, which at the previous stage passed Sutjeska (3:0 and 0: ) without any difficulties. Bookmakers have no doubt in choosing a favorite for the upcoming matches of the fourth qualifying round and give the coefficient for Ajax's victory in the first match away of 1.68. At the same time, APOEL’s victory odds range from 4.7 to 5.0.