Infographic: The futility of the Europa League
I've been talking and writing a lot recently about data driven journalism and data visualisations, and how there is no point doing it for the sake of it, but that you should do it to tell a story. And so I thought I'd try my hand at one.
I want to tell you a story about the UEFA Europa League, whose grotesque group stage is the focus of the sports pages today.
The thing with the Europa League group stage is that it takes 144 matches to whittle 48 teams down to 24 - who then only go on to form three-quarters of the teams taking part in the next round of the competition. It is a farce, and I wanted to illustrate the futility of it all. I had in mind a massive unfolding pure HTML5/CSS3 interactive - but I wouldn't know where to start with that, so I just put some blobs on a page.
Here is my chart of how the numbers of teams and matches stack up in European competitions this year. The Europa League takes a staggering 481 matches to reach a conclusion that nobody particularly cares about anyway...