A new season has begun for the Retro League. This time we are covering the 1961-62 season, which was notable because newly promoted Ipswich Town, a small town club managed by the later England World Cup winning manager, Sir Alf Ramsay, won the First Division title. Can they win in the Retro League also, or will Spurs retain their title from last season?
A small bug has been identified in the Chart Soccer spreadsheet relating to penalties, specifically in the Challenge Cup First Round. This is causing the wrong team to be advanced to the next round if the original away team (i.e. the home team in the replay) wins on penalties.
I have resolved the bug and there is a new version (v2.2) available. If you want to download the new version please contact me via eBay message and I will send you the link to the new version.
This season I have added a group stage to the Euro-Cup along with transfers for certain teams from the Euro-League to the Euro-Cup as a consolation route. The eight losers in the Euro-League Play-off Round go into the Euro-Cup group stage, and the third-placed teams in the Euro-League groups go into the Euro-Cup, where they play the second-placed teams from the Euro-Cup in a preliminary knockout round. This latter setup emulates the proposed Europa League setup from 2021, with the extra round inserted between the group stage and the Round of 16.
In the Euro-League, the three English clubs were Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool. The latter club finished third in their group and transferred to the Euro-Cup. The other two, Manchester City and Chelsea, progressed to the knockout stages of the Euro-League and both reached the final, where City won 3—1.
The two Scottish sides, Aberdeen and Rangers, did well to finish third in their groups and therefore also moved into the Euro-Cup knockout stages. Rangers reached the Round of 16, where they were soundly beaten by Tottenham Hotspur, but Aberdeen went one better and reached the Quarter-Final, where they were narrowly beaten by West Ham United.
The Scottish clubs in the Euro-Cup were Livingston and Motherwell, who were both eliminated before the group stage. The English clubs were Brighton & Hove Albion, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United. Brighton were eliminated in the group stage, but the other two progressed to the knockout rounds where they were joined, as previously mentioned, by Liverpool from the Euro-League.
Liverpool were eliminated by Ajax in the Quarter-Final but the other two clubs reached the semis and another all-English final looked on the cards. Both clubs won their away matches against Ajax and Roma, but Tottenham lost by two goals at home to Roma and lost on aggregate. West Ham also lost by the same score that they had beaten Ajax with in the first leg, so the game went to extra time, where each club scored once more, and thus West Ham were knocked out on away goals, a rather cruel outcome for the East London club.
The final was contested by Ajax and Roma, and despite a valiant effort by Ajax, Roma won the match 3—2.
I have had a few questions about how I organise my Chart Soccer competitions, so I have decided I will do some posts to explain how I do things, in the hope that others may find this interesting and useful. First, as I have been asked about this quite a lot lately, I will explain how I do my European club competitions.
So, it’s all done in a spreadsheet (of course) and in this spreadsheet I start off with a “paste sheet”, which is where I paste the raw data that will be used on the other tabs. This means that I can pull the data off of that sheet without changing it in any way. (This sheet is called “Rankings” in my spreadsheet.)
Firstly, I grab the country rankings from Bert Kassies’ excellent web site at https://kassiesa.net/uefa/. I usually use the latest data, but as I often do more than one season every year, sometimes I go back into previous years’ data.
The important pages are the “Country Coef”, “Country Ranking” and “Club Ranking” pages. These have lists of countries by coefficient, clubs by coefficient, and the points gained by each club in each country in Europe that season. The latter is a good way of choosing your teams for your own competitions as you can pick a selection from each country – see the screenshot below.
I grab the data from the “Country Rankings” and “Club Rankings” pages, and paste them into the paste sheet.
Next I have a “Qualification” sheet. On this sheet I rank the countries according to their coefficients and allocate places in each competition based on those positions. I only allocate to the top 32 countries, to keep it manageable, although I do tweak some of the lower countries so as to include the likes of Wales and Northern Ireland, for example.
In the screenshots above, the key shows the qualification for the Champions’ League (Euro-League). For the Euro-Cup (equivalent to the Europa League but knockout only), each of the 32 countries gets two qualifiers.
Next, I have a “Ratings” sheet. This just grabs the teams I have entered onto the “Qualification” sheet and their coefficient from the “Rankings” sheet, and then sorts them into order of merit, and suitable ratings applied, usually on a scale from 1 to 8.
I can then use these rankings to do the draws, as many of these are seeded to keep the top teams apart in the earlier rounds. In the screenshot below, you can see the seedings and draw for the Preliminary Round of the Euro-League. This involves the teams highlighted in pink on the “Qualification” sheet, and as you can see I keep this colour-coding all the way through.
After each round a new seedings list is created from the winners of the previous round and any new teams joining the competition at this stage.
These seedings are applied at most stages of both competitions, apart from the knockout stages of the Euro-League. In the last 16 of the Euro-League, the teams are seeded as group winners against group runners-up, with the proviso that:
Teams that qualified from the same group cannot play each other;
Teams from the same country cannot play each other;
The group winners are always the home team in the second leg.
From the quarter-finals onwards in the Euro-League there are no seedings and it is an open draw.
Hopefully this is of some help to those interested in how I do this. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask in the comments.
I’ve just completed the next season of the Retro League using LOGacta, i.e. by being faithful to the original rules (apart from a couple of variations). I have converted the league to a 16-team super league and carried out the league and cups according to the original rules. I will post the results on the relevant page on this site as soon as I get a chance to create the tables etc.
In the meantime, I thought I would post about the experience. This was an exercise in nostalgia as I have not played LOGacta in its original format for probably over 40 years. I have created charts in Excel and printed them off, and did all the results using pen and paper, and I have to say it was really good fun.
The rules were as per LOGacta but I have always been troubled by the use of the Blue v red dice for the first four match sets, so this is where I have improvised a bit. As I am wishing to simulate real life leagues I need some way of at least starting with initial ratings based on the standings in those original leagues. So, I split the 16 teams in to four groups, rated 1-4, and made sure that on the Fixtures and Results chart that there was one of each rating in section of four teams on the chart. This would ensure all teams got a reasonably similar schedule at the start of the season.
I actually used these ratings for the first 8 match sets, in order to give enough of a head start to the better teams as possible, plus of course, the previous champions (Tottenham Hotspur) had the form die for the first 8 match sets as well.
From match set 9 onwards I used the usual form rules and points for ratings, and it worked out pretty well. Preston North End (a club famous for being the original winners of the Football league in 1889) won the title, and this is not as unlikely as it may seem, as in the 1957-58 season (the one being simulated) they actually finished second in the table. Also, this was the time of the great Tom Finney, and prolific forward who played his entire professional career at the club from Lancashire.
Anyway, the league charts, which should be of interest to LOGacta buffs, are shown below.