The UEFA European Conference League is the newest continental club football competition to have been introduced, with many still looking at it in confusion, whilst others viewing it as another way in which UEFA are able to try and maximise the revenue that they are able to acquire.
The competition is set to take shape on Monday with the drawing stage set to take place, with a host of teams set to find out where they will be needing to make travel arrangements to for a Thursday night, before heading back home to play in a domestic league game.
Naturally, the competition will arguably benefit some football teams over others, with the smallest clubs getting the opportunity to test themselves against some of the better clubs in Europe and playing in countries such as England, Spain and France when they would not necessarily normally have the chance to do so. Of course, this will also provide a number of betting opportunities for those who like to wager on the football whilst also looking for the best casino bonuses on offer.
However, there will be some football fans who may remember a certain football tournament that was in existence well before the UEFA European Conference League and essentially played the same role for many teams before Michel Platini decided to abolish it ahead of the 2009/10 season.
The UEFA Intertoto Cup was a competition that had a few differences, however it allowed clubs who finished outside the main European places within their respective domestic leagues to be able to acquire a taste of playing in continental competition, whilst a place in that season’s UEFA Cup was also up for place.
This meant that the mini-tournament was played in the summer months and, typically, was concluded within the first couple of weeks of the beginning of the domestic campaign. The new tournament, though, will go throughout the season, thus putting even more demand on teams to try and manage a season and look to try and finish as high as possible.
UEFA only took over the Intertoto Cup in 1995, thus keeping it running for just under 15 years before ending it. During this time, they made multiple changes to the format, the way the teams could qualify and perhaps uniquely, the number of winners that could be had in a single competition.
It had initially provided two winners who would qualify for the UEFA Cup ‘Proper’, before being increased to three overall winners a year later. This would remain in place until 2006, though, when UEFA decided they wanted even more teams to compete in the UEFA Cup, as they increased it to 11 overall winners.
Whilst the UEFA Europa Conference League will see one overall winner throughout an entire season, it does appear to be a modified version of the classic UEFA Intertoto Cup in a way.