In the last few weeks, we have seen all sides of UEFA. Something good, something bad, and something bloody awful! They take a lot of stick, but on occasions come up with good ideas, unfortunately this good idea is snuffed out by several rubbish ideas, and something preposterous! Here are the 3 points in question:
UEFA have announced that in the future Champions Leagues (next season) the pot of top seeds will no longer be the top 8 in the coefficient ranking. Instead a new system will come in – The winner of the CL, and the winners of the top 7 leagues, will go into pot one. It will now give merit to those who win these leagues. Man City have been placed in pot 3 or 4 and they have won the Premier League twice, facing Bayern Munich in the group stage both times.
It will also stop the perenial 4th placers in Arsenal getting in that category, when they do not deserve an easier route though. I imagine the 7 leagues will be England, Spain, Italy, Germany, Holland, France and Portugal. This means the likes of Ajax or PSV, Marseille or PSG, Benfica or Porto and lets say Juventus or Roma will be in the top group, and not get harsh draws.
We very much like this idea, and it has been agreed to on ‘Sporting Merit’ by all clubs. A very good idea from UEFA. Cudos
A 2nd idea was to introduce ‘Wildcards’ into the competition for some of the bigger sides who do not gain entry via league or cup. For example this season Man Utd or AC Milan could have been given it. In our opinion a club should be there on merit – if they have a bad season and do not qualify then giving them this undermines the whole point of giving places to the best few. It’s as stupid as the 3rd team in each group in the CL dropping into the Europa League!
An idea we do not like. Luckily I don’t think it will come in. Too many calls against it.
The Ugly…Seriously Ugly
in the European Championships for France 2016, Serbia and Albania were drawn in the same group. You probably know the backstory – these two were at war for years, with many losing their lives. There is animosity between the two, no doubt. UEFA let the groups stand – unlike new side Gibraltor, who cannot face Spain for reasons less than the Serbia-Albania issue.
Spain claim Sovereignty over Gibraltor (they think it should be part of their country) so UEFA decide they cannot play. Somehow, they allow Serbia and Albania to play, with the home leg in Serbia only accessible to Serbian fans (always going to be trouble). The game took place last week, and after 42 minutes, a drone (small plane) flew an Albanian flag with a message onto the pitch. A Serbian player grabbed it, and what ensued after that you have seen. Mass brawls between players and fans, and the game abandoned.
The question is, even if it had to be played, why not behind closed doors? If there was a scrap, theres only around 30-36 players involved, and not hundreds of fans trying to kick the living daylights out of the poor Albanian players. If Spain and Gibraltor were not allowed to face each other, then why these two when their problems in the past are far worse?
Stupidity of the highest order from Platini and UEFA…