'Champions League' terms and conditions: need not be champions, and there is no league
The Champions League is not a champions league.
The vast majority of the teams featuring in the competition aren't champions.
And it is not a league in the traditional sense where all the teams play each other and whoever finishes top of the table at the end of it are declared champions.
A tournament that is close to allowing dire teams like Everton or Bolton the possibilty of entry should never be named the 'champions' league.
They do not merit to be associated with the term 'champions'.
Last year Chelsea reached the semis of the 'champions league'. To qualify they had narrowly finished in fourth place above Liverpool. They had not been champions of England since 1955. And yet they were on the verge of winning the 'champions' league.
I could not accept this logic. This was a main reason why I was totally against them winning the trophy and was subsequently delighted when they were knocked out.
This year Liverpool are holding a first leg advantage in the quarter-finals of the 'champions' league. They finished in fourth place to qualify for the competition. They have not won the championship for 15 years. They are 30 points behind first-placed Chelsea this year. And yet they are on the verge of winning the 'champions' league.
Yet again, I can't accept this logic.
The greedy money-men at UEFA, presumably encouraged by the greedy money-men chairmen at Europe's top clubs, allowed this potential illogical situation to occur when hyper-inflating the competition formerly known as the European cup. They also changed the name of the competition. But they chose the wrong name.
The Champions League must be renamed to reflect what it actually is. It must be renamed to remove the logic behind its name, a logic that is compromised by what it now is.
I propose: The European Semi-All-Comers Mini-League and Cup.
It may not be a stylish name, but it is far better than the current name because it is accurate. In other words, it does not deceive; it is honest.
A preference to changing the name is to change the entrant criteria. I like the concept of a 'champions cup' as the premier club competition in Europe once was. I could even accept this concept being inflated to accept runners-up of the domestic leagues, because there is merit in coming so close to domestic glory.
Teams who at no time have looked like viable contenders of their domestic league should never be allowed to play in the top competition in Europe. Yet the champions league as it is currently conceived allows Everton or Bolton of circa 2004-05 a realistic hope of actually achieving this. This is a disgrace to what the European cup once was.
I would restore the honour of the top club competition in Europe by reducing the number of teams that are allowed to enter it.
But as this is unlikely to happen, I would at least like the deception to end, and have the competition renamed to reflect what it actually is.