Champions League Reform Necessary

March 20, 2009 at 3:27 am | Posted in General Football | Leave a comment

I agree with Platini: the Champions League needs reform.   The European Cup, as it was called previously, was open only to those who had actually won their national championship.   England now gets 4 teams in the competition.  Liverpool, which won the Champions League in a spectacular comeback against Milan in 2005, has not won their National Championship for donkey’s years.   The competition should not be called the Champions League, but the “Big Clubs League”.     Rather than having to slug it out from the beginning to beat teams from lesser leagues in a two game shoutout, the big clubs get to sit around until the group stage begins.   Furthermore, the group stage is unfair as it prevents upsets from occurring because big teams can always recover from slip-ups over the six games of the group stage.    This favours rich teams with big squads.   This prevents teams which won in the final previously, like Steau Bucharest and Red Star Belgrade from being able to win anymore.   

In the old days the clubs from smaller countries used to get a financial boost from the fact that Juventus came to town.   But the big clubs don’t want to slum it anymore.   They only want to play in big fixtures against other big clubs. The effect is that the big clubs from big leagues get more and more revenue, and small clubs and countries get less revenue.   The teams which get into the Champs league get richer and richer from Champions League revenues while the also-rans in their own domestic leagues fall behind more and more.   This is not good for football.    A competition that used to spread revenue throughout European football now allows the already rich clubs hoard yet more revenue.  

When teams from the same country meet each other in the final, such as Valencia-Real Madrid and Manchester U- Chelsea, the competition is diminished in my view.   Because of the quality of the Premiership, four English teams are in the last eight.   This curtails the romance of the Champions League.  If the Champions League becomes a mere proxy for the Premier League, the competition is diminished.  

For the good of football the big leagues should have their privileges revoked by getting a maximium of 2 teams in the competition.   If football outside of the big four leagues is to remain healthy, the revenue must be spread.It should be a two leg knockout from the start.   Because the big teams are so greedy and powerful, I doubt that this will happen.  Personally I have become bored with the Champs League because I am sick of seeing the same teams year in year out.  The cynicism of it all puts me off.

Go Platini!  Champions League reform now!

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