Thursday, 29 November 2012

Platini's plan is a Euro Superleague by the backdoor

Hey, call me Scudamore! I've plans to reduce your power!  
UEFA's considering ditching the Europa League in favour of extending the Champions League from 32 to 64 teams. Michel Platini’s pondering a format change to European competition from 2015. It means seven English and five Scottish teams could enter at a qualifying round stage.

What's the joke about fourth being the new first? It works for Arsene Wenger, who rates fourth as good as winning a trophy. Now try seventh - and work out the damage that does to competition in the Premier League and other top leagues around Europe.

Scrapping the Europa League effectively makes all the domestic leagues feeders for the Champions League. A bunch of Europa Leagues in fact.

Could the European Cup get bigger than this?
Seriously, there’ll be a lot of funny fixtures between teams who’ve no hope of progressing – and lots of empty stadia. Motherwell v Getafe? not even Sky's best hypemeisters would get me to watch that – and a bigger Champions League represents a challenge to the Premier League and La Liga, particularly on a global level. 

In developing football nations where new fans are exposed to lots of competing TV pictures, won't they make the connection that somehow a pan European competition is higher than a countrywide one? Of course they will.
Lovely trophy - but it's over.
For a couple of years, the thrill of being an Aston Villa, Hibernian, Real Betis or Chievo fan playing for the big one will carry the tournament, but sooner or later the Champions League brand will be dininished by rubbish football before January each season.

UEFA's plan is a Euro Superleague by the backdoor - and will effectively make all domestic leagues the feeder competition to it. I'm sure the Premier League will have words to say about becoming what's effectively the Europa League at the moment.