_I was sat at home, contemplating the short comings of the Europa league, as you do. A number of questions went through my head. Why do people see it as an unworthy cup? What can be done to make it exciting again?
There are a number of ways that the Europa Cup can become a worthwhile & exciting competition again
Get rid of the “Europa” name. It sounds like a dodgy Euro Pop band or small French car. I understand that Uefa wanted keep the UEFA brand with the champions’ league, but people refer to that competition either by its full name, The UEFA champions’ league, Champions League or the European Cup. Renaming Europa back to its original name brings back its history and doesn’t confuse anyone as to what competition it is being referred to.
Get rid of the daft group/league format. It should be a straight knock out competition. That brings its own excitement to each game. Also with the number of teams competing, make it all 1 leg and only have the Semi final stage 2 legs.
Others have mentioned in the past that clubs dropping in from the Champions league should stop to get any prestige back to the cup. I disagree. One of the reasons that the competition is seen with little regard is that there are no big name teams in it. In the past, the Uefa cup was a cup competition competed by the second and third best in each league. This meant that teams like Real Madrid, Manchester City, Chelsea, Inter Milan, and Napoli would have all been involved in the cup. Reading that list makes want to tune in.
However, I do agree, under the current format, it is unfair. For example, this year, Stoke City have played 9 Europa League games to a stage where they can get knocked out by a team that failed in the Champions League.
Ultimately there are two ways about this.
Have the competition start after the group stages of the Champions league. That way the unfairness referred to above can be avoided.
My preferred option.
Increase the Champions league spots for each nation by 2/3 (depending on UEFA coefficients). This includes one for the domestic cup competition. Increase the number of teams in each Group to reflect the increased number of teams participating. The 3rd placed of each group go into the UEFA cup competition, which is a 1 leg straight knockout competition. The final to be played a few weeks before the Champions League so not to distract from the prestige of that competition.
This make smaller teams, such as Stoke City able to gain more exposure and also a share of the wealth that comes form the Champions league.