Helpful Suggestions To UEFA (Part 372)


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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5 Responses

  1. Gervillian Swike says:

    I must be the only person in the world who doesn’t hark back to the grand knockout days when teams like Bruges, Malmo and Panathinaikos, none of whom can really boast a single player of international note, got to the final. Cup Competitions are only treated with reverence and affection in England, where we have the FA Cup – and that’s because of the history, because ultimately a trophy won without a guarantee that the victors have played the best sides is meaningless. I don’t want to see a competition where the Italian and English champions are paired with each other in the first round, leaving the Estonian and Belgian champions a free run in the other half of the draw. Yes, the first round stages of the Champions League can be dull, but I offer two observations: firstly, it’s because the best teams are not playing each other, it’s because no-one is interested in seeing dead rubbers against poor opposition, and it changes once you get to the second round; and secondly, the latter stages of last year’s FA cup, with WBA, Barnsley, Cardiff and Portsmouth as the leading protagonists hardly set the world ablaze in terms of excitement or quality.

    Fact is, football is a meritocracy, and when you’re dealing with a competition to find the best, it’s the biggest teams playing against each other that people want to watch – it’s different from the motives you have for watching your local team. I didn’t watch Man United v Aalborg because it was a meaningless game, with one team playing half a team of reserves, and the other, with all due respect, insignificant in European terms. No-one is going to watch the World Club Championship either, and it’s not because Manchester United are there, but because no-one else of any note is (with the possible exception of Al-Ahly). If you want to make the competition more exciting, I’m afraid the answer is to reduce the number of teams, but have them all come from England, Germany, Italy, France, Holland, Spain… You can have whatever format you want then, but is that what people want?

  2. Pete says:

    Anyone with any sort of feeling for the game longs for a return to the old European Cup format, but never before have I seen the case argued so fluently and powerfully. Brilliant post.

  3. Philip Poole says:

    I concur with Pete. A superb argument, what the latter writer has pointed out is that football has changed.
    The idea of a small team from a less elustrious league is in many ways very exciting. However, since the bosman ruling these are total mis matches, with many of the big teams like manchester united using group matches to give opportunities to second string players, and still comfortably winning.

    The fact is that football has become stagnant, with the same small group of teams becoming dominant. However, the answer to this problem is not to revert back to the old system. what Uefa and Fifa need to do is look at new means of legislation and competition design/format.

    My suggestion would be to link qualification to the uefa competitions to international team success. when you look at the fifa rankings of european sides; Spain top the tree followed by the Netherlands, Germany, England and Portugal- with more obscure nations such as Croatia and Denmark making up some of the following places. We currently have 3 leagues supplying 4 teams each to the champions league, if you were to use my system you would see England drop a team from qualification to the competition which would put far more emphasis on players and clubs to play to their highest standard for their national team, and sides who seem to favour using non home grown players having to re-think their strategy if they want a better chance of qualification to europes premier competition. in short, more emphasis on clubs developing home grown players, meaning more of a spread of top quality players to different leagues..

  1. December 15, 2008

    […] King over at Two Hundred Percent offers an excellent alternative to the boredom that is Champions League (and heck, even UEFA Cup) group stages. One of the better […]

  2. December 15, 2008

    […] King over at Two Hundred Percent offers an excellent alternative to the boredom that is Champions League (and heck, even UEFA Cup) group stages. One of the better […]

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