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Bobby McMahon

Bobby McMahon

You can see me on Soccer Central most Mondays and Thursdays on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. I write a regular column for Forbes.com and Soccerly.com and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


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UEFA Coming To Bury Europa League Rather Than Praise it?

Written by on April 9, 2012 | 3 Comments »
Posted in European Championship, Money Game, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League

At the start of every soccer season the objective for all top-tier European teams is to make sure that they do enough to secure a place in the following year’s UEFA Champions League. Champions League participation brings not only glamor and media attention but also an enhanced revenue stream.

This season the 32 teams that reached the Champions League group stage (8 groups of four teams) plus the 44 other teams that failed to negotiate the qualifying phase can expect to share around…..

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3 responses to “UEFA Coming To Bury Europa League Rather Than Praise it?”

  1. Astronomer says:

    Bobby,
    I, for one, would not mind it one bit if the Europa League is made extinct by UEFA and, as a compensatory measure, the Champions League is expanded to 64 teams (or some such number).

    However, if that is done, then UEFA should also let the winners of the domestic cup competitions play in (at least) the preliminary knock-out stages of the Champions League. This would reignite the competitive fervor that sometimes is conspicuously missing in the domestic cup competitions nowadays.
    ____________________________________________

  2. Gabemar says:

    It might be the way to go. I simply don’t see how they can make the Europa League more attractive, short of start awarding CL spots for the following season. And even then I think this CL expansion would be a more effective way to do it.

  3. John Bladen says:

    Astronomer:

    UEFA could, if it chose, adopt a policy somewhere between “today” and how the champions league used to be run (for league & primary domestic cup champions only) by doing just as you say.

    However, they’ve shown over the past couple of decades that they aren’t interested in helping domestic competitions. In fact, like any colossus, their primary interest appears to be in extracting as much money as possible using any means necessary. Because of that, I’d expect ongoing expansion of CL… perhaps to ridiculous levels.

    If you accept the argument that the top 4 EPL clubs should all be in (despite most not winning any type of championship) because they are better and economically ‘bigger” than the Swiss league’s league winner, for example, there’s really no argument to be made against including all EPL clubs, most of La Liga and Serie A, the Bundesliga and much of Ligue Un.

    Which will happen first? Will it be a relegation threatened club appearing in a CL final? Or UEFA finding a way to justify inviting South American/Mexican/MLS clubs (once they are rich enough) to participate in an effort to create a ‘real’ club world championship (oh, and hoover up all the money possible in club football, regardless of continent, of course), despite the obvious impediment that said clubs aren’t UEFA members?

    Ridiculous? Maybe. But look at who they (and FIFA) have welcomed in the past… Money>Geography.

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