BELGIUM

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BELGIUM

Postby Scottish » Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:45 pm

Remarkably high positions from Belgium of 16th in the world and 8th in Europe with only the “Big Five,” the Netherlands and Turkey ahead of them. The Belgian Pro League is a fiendishly complicated affair, probably the most baffling in Europe if not the world.

After playing each other twice the sixteen teams are split into three groups of six, eight and two. In the Championship group points are rounded up then halved before the teams meet a further twice to decide the title, Champions League places and entry points and Europa League entry points. Except it’s not that simple as Belgium currently has five European places and that’s where the middle groups comes in. Only the top four in the Champions group receive a European spot. The final place is reserved for the middle eight who divide into two groups of four playing each other twice (no points carried forward) with the winners of the groups meeting over two legs to see who wins a Europa League spot.

This, to me at least, patent absurdity could theoretically lead to a situation whereby the team which “wins” the league after thirty games loses out on Europe while a side which escapes relegation by the skin of its teeth ends up in the Europa League. Lasts season it produced the ridiculous result of the Europa League place winners being unable to take up their place as they didn’t have the appropriate UEFA licence. So, the twenty-six games played in the middle group turned out to be meaningless as the final European place reverted to the Champions group.

Relegation is almost as convoluted. The bottom two are scheduled to meet twice each with the loser going straight down and the winner going forward to meet three Second Division teams in further play-offs. However, the second last team at the end of the regular season receives a three points head start on the bottom which can (and last season did) result in the series ending before the scheduled final game(s) as the gap between the teams becomes too wide to be bridged.

The successful side then enters a group with three lower level sides with the teams playing each other twice and winner taking the top flight position for the following season.

Best supported Bruges were 95th worldwide last season. The overall average was 11,945 with the best crowd 29,042 and the worst 2,150.

AVERAGES (play-offs included)
25951 Club Bruges
24675 Standard Liege
21445 Genk
21256 Anderlecht
17464 Gent
9688 Mechelen
8334 Oud-Heverlee Leuven
8239 Cercle Bruges
8160 Zuite Waregem
7572 Kortrijk
7233 Sporting Lokeren
7196 Lierse
6372 Sporting Charleroi
5939 Waasland –Beveren
5209 Oostende
3850 RAEC Mons

The Belgian second tier is, if anything, even more complex than the first and if anyone really wants to attempt to try to understand it they should go here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgian_Second_Division

The overall average was 1,943, 22nd in the rankings, the highest crowd was 8,235 and the lowest 100.

AVERAGES
7050 Royal Antwerp
5451 Sint-Truidense
3444 Westerlo
2559 Eendracht Aalst
1907 Eupen
1850 Geel
1772 Royal Mouscron-Péruweiz
1932 Lommel United
1323 Roeselare
1189 Excelsior Virton
1102 Heist
1074 Dessel Sport
1068 RWDM Brussels
1009 Hoogstraten
785 Visé
729 White Star Brussels
694 Borinage
487 Tubize

I have no figures below this level.
Scottish
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