The State of Gibraltarian Club Football
May 21, 2019
Gibraltar Premier Division
Most Championships: Lincoln Red Imps, 24
Last 5 Winners: Lincoln Red Imps (18/19, 17/18, 15/16, 14/15), Europa (16/17)
UEFA Ranking: 51st
Highest Ranked Club: Lincoln Red Imps, 234th
As a minnow of European Football, what do Gibraltarian fans and teams expect from their European campaigns and what would qualify as a success?
I think realistically teams would aim to get out of the preliminary round, and then anything after that would be considered a success for them. At the preliminary stage, they play teams mainly of a similar level so they would aim to be able to beat them.
How much do the fans and teams look forward to European competition?
The teams look forward to it, especially the players as the chance to play in these tournaments is a good opportunity for them – the clubs of course appreciate the income that they receive in prize money and ticket sales, which they can’t get in other games with local matches free to enter.
Is funding ever a problem for Gibraltarian sides in European competition in regards getting to and from away games?
I would say the six figure sums received just for qualifying from UEFA more than covers any travel costs, even if teams are drawn against far-flung opposition in say the Faroe Islands or Kosovo.
Is a Champions League / Europa League game involving Gibraltarian side watched by most of the nation?
The games tend to be the most well supported games involving domestic teams, but it depends on who is playing and how many local players start for them – if a team has one or two locals starting the stadium may be half empty.
Do you think Europa League 2 qualification could one day be a realistic ambition, and do you think EL2’s a good thing for European football?
I’m undecided currently as I don’t know enough about how the competition will work, but there could be a chance for qualification to the groups of the Europa League 2 if it is largely smaller nations’ team’s competing.
Do you think UEFA are doing enough to help the minnows of European football and what can they do to further help them?
I think they are doing a fair bit, and it is noticeable especially when you look at what Gibraltar didn’t have or get pre-UEFA. More could of course be done, but the funding and support at least here has been very noticeable in the last 6 years.
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Author: Tom Mortimer
Tom is the editor at Betting Circle and has been creating online content for over 10 years. Tom mainly writes about sport and gambling, but every now and then also delves into fleshier subjects like politics and psychology. When he was 18 he created HungarianFootball.com and over the last few years he's written on a freelance basis for ESPN, WorldSoccer, Goal.com, among many others.