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Coefficient Points explained

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What are coefficient points?

Coefficient points are points that all participating clubs in Europe earn each season. The better a club does in Europe, the more coefficient points the club will earn. These points carry multiple advantages, both for the club and the club's association. A higher coefficient point sum can, among other, make the road into the group stages easier for the specific club and for other clubs from their association.

There are two kinds of coefficient points: association coefficient points and club coefficient points.

Association coefficient points

Association points are points that all clubs in Europe each season earn for their association. For example, here are the points earned by Scottish clubs in the 2021/22 season:
Association points
Rangers 23.5
Celtic 9.5
Aberdeen 3
Hibernian 2.5
St. Johnstone 1
(The values refer to association points that are calculated with the calculator)

The "yearly country coefficient" for that association is the total points earned divided by the number of teams - in this case, 39.5 points divided by five teams:
Yearly country coefficient (2021/22)
Scotland 7.900

For the purposes of UEFA's tournaments, an association's "country coefficient" considers the previous five years of yearly coefficient points. In this example, at the end of the 2021/22 season, Scotland's total would have combined 21/22 (7.9), 20/21 (8.5), 19/20 (9.75), 18/19 (6.75), and 17/18 (4.0), totaling 36.9 points.
Country coefficient (2021/22)
Scotland 36.900
(Country coefficient points from 2017/18 - 2021/22)

This number informs the ranking of associations, which decides how many spots in each European tournament each association gets, and how easy it is for their clubs to qualify for the group stages. For example:
Country coefficient ranking (2021/22) European spots (2023/24)
Scotland 9 UCL qualifying: 2 clubs
UEL qualifying: 1 club
UECL qualifying: 2 clubs

Club coefficient points

Club coefficient points are points participating clubs in Europe earn for their own club. These points have an impact on, among other things, the club's seeding in the qualifying rounds and additional prize money in the group stage. These do not match up exactly with association coefficient points. In our example, while Rangers earned 23.5 association points in 2021/22, they earned 19 club points:
Club coefficient points
Rangers 19
(The value refers to club coefficient points as calculated with the calculator)

Club coefficient points from a single season are not used for anything directly. On the other hand the clubs' club coefficient points over the last five seasons are used for multiple things. For example, they are used to decide seeding in the qualifying rounds for the group stages and the distribution of clubs in the group stages.

Example on a club's club coefficient points over the prior five seasons:
"Five year club coefficient points"
Rangers 50.250

This "five year club coefficient" is, for example, used to decide seeding in the qualifying rounds for the group stages:
Seeded Coeff. points Unseeded Coeff. points
Young Boys 35.000 Legia Warszawa 16.500
Crvena Zvezda 32.500 Sheriff Tiraspol 14.500
Rangers 31.250 Ferencváros 13.500
(Section from the third qualifying round for the Champions League 2021/22)

Above, the clubs with the highest "five year club coefficient point sum" are seeded, while the rest are unseeded. That means that a seeded club always will face an unseeded club in the specific qualifying round.

Almost all the qualifying rounds for the group stages work in this way with seeding. The same principle is also used when it comes to the distribution of clubs in the different groups in the group stages.