The former Dutch goalkeeper is currently working as chief executive at Ajax and has rightly passed comment on what his current club have to do to make it through to the competition group stages.
Despite reaching last season’s semi-finals before winning the Eredivisie and the KNVB Cup, Ajax have to play in the second, third and playoff stages of qualifying this season.Embed from Getty Images
They only enter a round after Celtic, who play their second leg against FK Sarajevo tonight.
For van der Sar, he believes clubs like Ajax and Celtic shouldn’t have to rely on their country’s coefficient alone when it comes to qualifying for the Champions League and that their domestic success deserves to be rewarded more.
Per Voetbal Primeur, van der Sar said: “Clubs such as Celtic, FC Copenhagen and Ajax should not depend on their position in the UEFA ranking, but should be rewarded for their national and European achievements.
“It feels a bit unfair that reaching the semi-final of the Champions League and winning both the national title and the KNVB Cup is worth less than finishing fourth in a top four competition.”
It’s difficult to disagree with van der Sar when you see some of the English teams who get an easier entry into the Champions League despite winning nothing last season.
Tottenham, for example, will face just one qualifying round this season after finishing fourth in the Premier League last term.
But they won nothing – and that surely goes against the whole point of the Champions League?