FanDuel - WFBC

November 28, 2012

Champions League may have 64 clubs & Europa League scrapped: Seven English and five Scottish clubs would make the expanded field if M. Platini's latest, er, brainstorm becomes fact. At least it would end all those Thursday nights away requiring dark o'clock flights home from the Continent.

posted by billsaysthis to soccer at 11:48 AM - 6 comments

Great more meaningless games by medicore teams.

posted by hardrane at 12:00 PM on November 28

Wouldn't it water down the Champions League too much? The Europa League is something I've managed to successfully ignore since embracing soccer four or five years ago.

posted by rcade at 12:11 PM on November 28

The already watered it down, by allowing in teams that weren't Champions.

I'm not sure anyone pays attention to the Europa League. Even some of the teams that are in it.

I read that this move is unlikely, but what might pass is to offer a place in the Champions League to the two Europa League finalists, in the hopes of getting teams, broadcasters, sponsors and fans to take it more seriously.

In the dim and distant past, the UEFA Cup was possibly a tougher tournament than the Champions Cup, because it included everyone who was almost good enough to win their respective leagues. Once the Champions League hoovered up most of those teams and relegated the Europa League to Birmingham against Maribor, it's no wonder people lost interest.

UEFA's no one to blame but themselves, really.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:33 PM on November 28

This would be good for Arsene Wenger, as it would only take 7th to "win a trophy."

posted by holden at 01:36 PM on November 28

the UEFA Cup was possibly a tougher tournament than the Champions Cup, because it included everyone who was almost good enough to win their respective leagues

And often included clubs on upward slopes -- that is, this season's likely champions rather than last season's. That's changed because the Champions League and its millions has locked in most of the teams with a run at their domestic titles. (I think it was still a pretty decent competition until the switch to the Europa League format, although perhaps I'm biased.)

Even the Champions League is a victim of over-familiarity. In the days of the straight knockout tournaments, the chance to host Juventus or Bayern Munich or Real Madrid was a rare treat. Now it's just another Wednesday. At the same time, Champions League losers mostly get flushed into the Europa League, which means the Europa League doesn't have a coherent identity of its own.

Finally, the existing formats now play into the hands of a couple of top-heavy leagues (Spain and Portugal) while not giving strongish champions from smaller leagues a decent shot.

posted by etagloh at 01:37 PM on November 28

Why not bump it up to 68 so they can play some opening round games in Dayton?

posted by bender at 01:47 PM on November 28

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