English Teams in the European Cup

With Chelsea and Manchester United meeting in an all-English Champions League quarter-final this week it seems like the perfect time to take a look at the history of English teams in the competition*. This graphic plots the progress of every single English entrant in UEFA’s European Champion Clubs’ Cup and Champions League. Click the image to enlarge.

The most noticeable contrast is between English teams’ consistent success before the Heysel disaster and their lack of it afterwards – there were nine appearances by English teams in the eleven finals before and on the day of the tragedy; and only one in the nineteen that followed it.

I’ve coloured sections purple to show qualifying rounds. For some of the early tournaments sources differ when deciding if a round is a qualifying/preliminary round or the first round proper. In some cases I’ve had to decide for myself on a fairly arbitrary basis but this shouldn’t be too important as the difference is largely academic. Please leave a comment if you know of a definitive source or if you spot any other errors I’ve made.

*An English team featuring in the final would probably be a more apt occasion but if they all get knocked out before then I won’t be able to post this for at least a year, so now looks like a safe bet (plus: I’m not above posting it again).

UPDATE 25/08/2011
I have updated the image so that it includes the final outcomes of the 2010-11 competition:

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