Well, if there’s no difference between teams according to the competition they’re in, how about whether those teams who have been enjoying European football in the past are positively effected by that.
Certainly, impirically, Torino (no) struggled, while the likes of Sevilla (yes) didn’t.
In actuality, too, there’s far more of a gap between those teams who featured in Europe in 2013/14 and those that did not. Indeed, the fact that those teams with European experience actually perform slightly better after UEFA games than not, while those unused to the long journeys and the midweek games really suffer – those gaps are noticeable – two points per season better off after UEFA games on the left compared to six points per season worse off on the right; an eight point disparity.
In other words, if you weren’t in Europe one year, but were the next, you’re fairly likely not be the one after. Does that make Europe a closed shop?
In principle, it does to a point, except that by those teams not qualifying, another cohort of teams that weren’t in Europe the season before have the opportunity to make a different crack at it.
What is does suggest is that for teams who on the rise, they might be better finishing outside Europe in the first ‘big’ season (take note Bournemouth and Carpi – if you want to succeed longer term, you need only domestic games next season).
Of course, more splits will follow, but these were the first two that seemed to leap out.