The UEFA associations’ club coefficients rankings determine the number of places allocated to an association (country) in forthcoming UEFA club competitions. The rankings are based on the results of each association’s clubs in the five previous UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League seasons.
At the end of the 2016-17 season, the complete 5-year rankings were as follows:
Having become the first country to have an association coefficient of over 100 in 2014-15, Spain continued its unprecedented domination of European football, finishing with a 3-digit coefficient for the third year running. Germany and England maintained their positions at No. 2 and No. 3 in the rankings respectively.
However, this season it could turn into a real dog fight between England and Italy for the 3rd spot in the rankings. Following this season, the 2012-13 season – where the Premier League clubs performed better than the Serie A clubs – would drop out of the 5-year ranking span and be replaced by the performances of the 2017-18 season.
Without taking the 2012-13 season into consideration, this is how the rankings would look as of now:
Now the difference between England and Italy is just 0.618. That means if the Italian clubs manage to get a coefficient better than the English by just 0.618 this season, we would see Italy rise to number 3 in the rankings. Even if Italy don’t manage to overtake England this season, they’ll probably have a decent shot next season as well, since the English clubs did slightly better in the 2013-14 season too.
The one good thing for the Premier League clubs right now is that UEFA has announced that all the top 4 highest ranked associations will have 4 teams in the UEFA Champions League group stage from 2018. Thus, they are at least not in danger of losing out on 1 Champions League berth in the near future.