Why has the Champions League fantasy football failed to catch on?

Premier League fantasy football has joined its NFL counterparts in the United States in becoming a sensation across the globe. Almost every workplace will have an inter-league based in the office, while groups of mates will also compete for bragging rights.

Why has the Champions League fantasy football failed to catch on?

Premier League fantasy football has joined its NFL counterparts in the United States in becoming a sensation across the globe. Almost every workplace will have an inter-league based in the office, while groups of mates will also compete for bragging rights.  It has become almost a ritual at the start of the season, with the buzz of formations and players available dominating conversations. However, the same cannot be said for the Champions League version of the game that has struggled to dominate the zeitgeist, especially in the United Kingdom. The preference for the Premier League version of the game has put its European counterpart into the shadows. We’ll now investigate why it has failed to elevate itself to the same level of popularity.

Lack Of Detailed Knowledge

 champions league fantasy football

Source: Fotboll Skanalen via Twitter

The Premier League benefits from intense media coverage week in, week out, with information available across all platforms. As a result, there is a strong familiarity with the majority of teams, even for people who are not huge fans of the sport. Simply, in the United Kingdom, there is little escape from coverage of the sport, with multi-billion pound television deals keeping it constantly in the public eye.

The top sides in the top flight have notoriety across the globe, with Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal amongst the most popular clubs in the world. As a result, the knowledge of even the smaller clubs in the Premier League and their players is fairly strong even though their scope will not reach as far as the elite clubs in the division.

The same cannot be said for sides in the Champions League. There are 32 teams competing at the start of the group stage of the tournament, and although there is familiarity with the squads of giants of England, Spain, Germany and Italy, lesser known sides from countries such as Ukraine and Greece are also an integral of setting up a potential squad in the league making up 43% of the group stage.

Building a side in fantasy is almost as important as selecting the right kit for the Champions League final, with the choice surprisingly playing an interesting factor in the outcome as detailed by Betway Insider. Eleven sides have opted to wear their away kit when given the decision of what to wear – with ten of those sides going on to win the final. Therefore, what might seem a small decision at the time could play a vital factor in winning or losing. Therefore, staring at a list of unfamiliar players from obscure leagues can make the process seem arduous and could put potential users off participating.


champions league fantasy football

Source: OfficialFPL via Twitter

The Premier League takes place almost every week from August to May, with sparse breaks for the international matches. As a result, every participant knows by the weekend you need to make your changes – if you so wish – and have your team ready for the contests ahead. The Champions League, on the other hand, can be harder to keep track of, especially for users outside of Europe. The group matches are spread out from September to December – making alterations potentially harder to employ, with the propensity for injuries to occur during the league and cup

commitments of the respective sides in between. As the games are during the week – there is more of a chance of missing the games due to prior engagements or other duties. As a result – it’s easier to lose track of the action, particularly if players are in action in lower-profile matches. Due to these contributing factors, it could result in a loss of interest, with users perhaps dropping back in the standings after missing out in a round of fixtures.

Game Structure

champions league fantasy football

Source: OpelloMedia via Twitter

The structure of the Champions League limits the amount of games played over the course of the season. The maximum amount of matches a team competing from the group stage to the final can play is 13 matches. As a result, there’s less scope for users to claw back ground over the season. Its short format does not lend itself to the thrill of a lengthy battle from the off – therefore after a poor round or two competitors may lose interest and not return for the following season due to the lack of excitement provided by the system.

The Premier League performed a rebrand last season and brought about radical changes to all of their outlets, including fantasy football. The Champions League has enjoyed similar success in terms of viewing figures to England’s top division, but could revitalise their other branches of interaction with a similar approach in the near future to attempt to capture a broader audience.

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  • Stephen T

    For me it falls with that 43% of teams that make up the competition, some of which I don’t follow as closely as I do the English game. I would be required to further research players in which to round out my starting lineup or squad. I love the competition from a viewing perspective, but I probably won’t be inclined to play in it.


  • Robert T

    I also played this UCL Fantasy for a while and then I stopped tinkering the team since I feel it is quite difficult to share the concentration between FPL and UCL Fantasy. I have to browse major football websites everyday to find out their starting line ups and who are their key players and also the price of the players are quite steep.

    I get Buffon for GK and his price was more expensive than my Courtouis in FPL, I got Lewy and Messi also but I have no star defender nor midfielder and I just pick randomly from lesser known team and they turn out to be useless since most of the players were used as substitute.

    I agree with most of your opinion that it is about media coverage of the teams that played in UCL. Where we could find info about Steaua Bucarest line ups or Malmo. There are only a few of articles in major football media about those teams.


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