We’re going to football like it’s 1999!

I think we should scrap the UEFA Europa League. There I’ve said it. Now before you all spit out your lunch and start writing nasty comments on the bottom of this blog, hang on a sec. I’m not calling for a scrap of the second tier European competition completely. What I want is European football to go back to like it was in 1999.

I’ll tell you why. The Premiership and English football is by far the most exciting in Europe. But this seems to be our downfall when it comes to the UEFA Europa League.

You see with Birmingham winning the Carling Cup and Stoke playing Bolton in the FA Cup semis, the cup European places have both been taken by non-top four clubs and now any club wanting to play in Europe has to finish in the top five of the Premier League.

Can you imagine Europe being without Spurs next season? Or Liverpool not getting there? How will that affect their teams? The price clubs will pay for not getting into Europe’s elite is massive in monetary values. Last year UEFA distributed a total of €134,960,000 to teams playing in the UEFA Europa League last season as revenue created by the newly launched competition was put back into the clubs.

Atlético de Madrid, as winners of the inaugural UEFA Europa League, received €6,358,740 in payments from UEFA following their progress from the round of 32 to the final in Hamburg, while finalists Fulham FC earned €10,010,114 for their exploits.

But apart from cash, not making Europe has other implications. Can Liverpool hang onto their stars if all they can offer them next season is a trip to QPR? Bale has just signed a new contract at White Hart Lane but he’s bound to want to jump ship – why would one of the best left midfielders in Europe not want to play against the best of Europe? And that would be just the start of it. With great players leaving, the clubs will not be as equipped to win tight games and will struggle to qualify the next year. How much longer will fans stick with Liverpool? If Spurs want to move out of White Hart Lane, or redevelop the ground, then they won’t be able to do it without winning things or having good cup runs.

It’s clear fifth is the new fourth and this is what makes the Premiership the best league in the world. But Europe without clubs like the scousers, while some two-bob club from the Ukraine is lining up against Atlético Madrid takes the piss. Bring back the old days when the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup was around and the likes of Birmingham could play the jammy buggers from the rest of Europe who had fluked their way to a trophy. Get rid of the ‘fair play league’ places and just let those who finish in the top 6 or 8 of their respective leagues go into Europe. There I’ve said it. All Birmingham fans please don’t crash the site with your complaints.

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  1. Finbob says:

    Are you saying its bad that Bolton and Brum in Europa Leauge, as “Bigger Clubs” Spurs & Liverpool might miss out ?

    You might as well have 6 teams and the rest all semi-pro if that the case, and under that ideal – Nottingham Forest would never of won the European Cup back to back, something Spurs have never even come close too

  2. Jerry Ma*******guire says:

    Bold statement to scrap it, i think they should mix it up though. has got a little stale and boring and the lesser clubs with smaller squads suffer when they have a good run in the europa cup league whatever, which takes away from the premiership. I read this article and also another one by a different writer and have started thinking that the bubble of the premiership could burst, will the europa cup contribute with teams like Fulham then not performing domestically and the standard of the league dropping? would be good to hear your thoughts Lara

  3. Peter XYZ says:

    English teams have flopped in the Europa League year in year out,its the only reason YOU want it scrapped.4 of the last 7 winners are from Spain(ah yes,that “2 team league”)!

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