The heads of UEFA might have temporarily iced their plan to reform the Champions League into some kind of closed-off competition, but they are proceeding with their other destructive ideas, including the creation of a “third tournament” for the continental game.
Amongst the many people who have praised this plan is Peter Lawwell, and I really don’t know what he’s up to in lending this credibility.
There is not one positive from that proposal.
It is a total, unmitigated, disaster, an insult to Scottish football.
No matter how it’s dressed up, the very idea of that competition stinks.
It reduces our football’s status even further in the sport.
The team which finishes second in this country would be relegated to the third tier competition with teams who have finished fifth, sixth and even seventh in their own national leagues. This is a turd with glitter on it; attempts to pretty it up in no way disguise the smell.
And this will happen … and should disaster strike us and we find ourselves no longer league champions at some point it is this third bracket we’ll find ourselves in, no matter what we’ve accomplished in the meantime, short of winning a European trophy.
The SFA appears ready to accept this; indeed, Lawwell already has, with the spurious claim that it actually improves the chances of Scottish clubs by giving us more teams in Europe. This might be true in terms of raw numbers, but our clubs will be as far from the top table as it is possible to get. There will be little broadcasting or advertising money for this competition, with all of it flowing towards the two above it. This is the European equivalent of the League Cup.
Why the need to create a third tier of European football anyway?
And why are certain countries tossed into it by default?
I understand – in part – the concept, but the way it has been done has echoes in the way the Champions League has been built to benefit clubs from certain nations, and Scotland has already suffered with our side having eight qualifying games to get there. That the Ibrox club played eight qualifiers in the Europa League is equally ridiculous … worse is to come though. They won’t even have that opportunity when these changes come in.
We’re all supposed to get excited about the prospect that the Champions League might be reformed in a way that suits us; I’ll be writing about that later as well.
But I’ll say right now that I very much doubt any changes to that competition will be to our benefit … that’s not the direction UEFA is moving its competitions in.
Egalitarianism is not the final destination.
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