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Friday, May 06, 2005

What the UEFA is going on?

OK, let me clarify the situation: Everton are likely to gain something from their remaining games with Newcastle, Arsenal then Bolton. Liverpool v Arsenal is hard for me to predict. Wishing for a win all the same, and respecting Gooner TS, Arsenal are finding good form at home. Villa at home could be a good win. But Everton, despite their blip at Fulham, seem strong enough to get the results they need, so they are likely to hold 4th spot. Such a shame but Liverpool's inconsistency has been cumbersome.

Despite the possibility of winning the Champions League, being out of the top four places will mean UEFA rules keeps us out of next season's campaign. So much for the decision being eventually in the hands of our F.A. To reiterate that said by Sunil, and Phil Thompson on Sky Sports News, I'd forfeit 4th place for the trophy. It would be very cutting to be beaten finalists and not be in it come 2005/2006.

Personally, I find that the possibility of UEFA looking at revising the rules regarding these circumstances is scant consolation. Why 2005/2006? Why not now? Bring talks forward and make a decision, in such an important issue, at least for the fans. Evertonians want the big league, everyone wants the Champions League, by any virtue. But impartially, I say Liverpool, if they win in Istanbul, should be allowed to defend the trophy, and Everton go into the UEFA Cup.

Why? Considering how long Everton have taken to even rise up the table, much less be in a position to experience European football again, after some 25 years, I think they should take the UEFA Cup campaign. At least then they can use the experience if they go on in the season to qualify for the Champions League. Also, considering Liverpool have gotten so far as the final, after coming back from 0-1 against Olympiakos, needing 3 goals and winning 3-1, avenging our previous defeat by Bayer Leverkusen 6-2, and beating a strong title-winning side like Chelsea, it does seem harsh.

However, Everton would be doing a favour for Liverpool, which the Toffees wouldn't want to do, unofficially. And the difference in revenue between the two European competitions would also deter Everton from choosing the UEFA Cup. Why should they forfeit the chance to be in the Champions League, since they have been better than the others to be in 4th place? Their rise under David Moyes has been something tremendous, and such credit deserves the reward.

It is such a dilemma - Liverpool qualify as winners or Everton as 4th placed (what if Liverpool was somewhere like 8th place right now???). Of course UEFA stick hard to their rules, and that's fair enough. But why has there been loose talk of our F.A. making a decision, UEFA considering the revision, NOW, when the issue is still a grey area where the interests of both sides clash, as a result of their own respective achievements during the season?

I don't agree the rules are fair, and that is in regard to any two teams. Certainly the precedent of Real Madrid and Real Zaragoza in 2000 wasn't fair. Zaragoza earned their place and saw it forfeited for winners Real Madrid. Zaragoza get to play in the UEFA Cup but that was minor consolation.

The right decision, IMO, is to have an extra place available. Does another football association have to lose a place as a result? UEFA cannot reserve such a place at no-one's expense, such a high-thinking association as they are?

This is such a grey area why UEFA must be considering a revision, because it isn't simple for them to say 'Rules are rules - sorry, they won't change now.' It always seem simple to revert to rules when you feel pressure on you to make a decision that affects a number of passionate people. Then one can say 'Sorry, really sorry, it's not my decision - it's in the rules.' The sake of two teams who wish to go to perform in the highest football tournament in Europe are at risk. One wants to experience, the other wants to defend their win. Both deserve to go on to do so.

After Real Madrid/Zaragoza, UEFA should have looked into this possible circumstance happening again and implement fair rules on what to do if or when it does. The reality of this happening is very, very little, therefore I would opt for a play-off between the two teams. This idea has been mentioned on EFT before, and I feel it would be the fairest way to decide who goes on through to play in the competition.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you look at the EUFA web site you will find under competition rules for Champions League a reference to this scenario under 1.03. This suggests the fourth placed team in a country with four entrants would have to play in the Uefa Cup and the CL Champions would take 4th place. I don't know if they would have to play in the qualifiers.

5/06/2005 2:01 pm

Anonymous Stevo said...

What a load of codswallop!!!!!!

You can thinly veil your self righteous with the odd 'full credit' and 'tremedous season for Everton' all you like. But to say that Uefa should change their rules just to accomodate Liverpool is quite simply arrogant. The Spanish FA chose Real over Zaragoza, quite simply because who Real Madrid are....No other reason than that Zaragoza were expendible.

In this situation this is simply not the case. Yes Everton have had many years in the wilderness and as such should be allowed to have their day or days in the limelight. Did Brazil appeal to FIFA when they were told that they would have to qualify for the next world cup? No, of course not! teh just accepted the RULES and got on with it.

Uefa have said on many occasions that there can be only four representatives from England in the Champions League. It would be down to the FA if they thought that one of those teams should be Liverpool, and it would have to be at the expense of the team in 4th place. It is the FA who have not had the bottle to stand up and say that rules are rules and the qualification criteria for CL qualification is through league standings.

While I applaud how much you have given credit to our season, occupying a top for position since september and as high as second place after the Goodison derby.

I will not have the wool pulled over my eyes by your 'what's best for everyone speech'. When in fact these were just the typical rantings of a Kopite who believes that they have the God given right to be playing at the very highest level.

'Back where you belong' - Oh Please!!!!!

5/06/2005 2:11 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is an incredibly biased and elitist post I must say. Clearly, Redsman, understandably you want Liverpool to play in the CL, and I think most right thinking people would agree that, if a team wins a competition and is unable to enter it the following year to defend their crown - this is utterly ridiculous. However, your comments regarding why Everton should take EUFA cup football ("Considering how long Everton have taken to even rise up the table, much less be in a position to experience European football again, after some 25 years, I think they should take the UEFA Cup campaign") are elitist and imply that you think Liverpool have some sort of right over Everton as their richer neighbours. As a neutral in this (Newcastle Fan) I can tell you that your view sounds ridiculous. If Everton come fourth then they get CL football - simple as that. WHY? because they deservce it more than anyone who has come below them - whether this is a richer club, used to CL football or not. There are no rules about the length of time a team have taken to rise up the league and rightly so - since the game would then be even more elitist than it currently is. That doesn't alter the EUFA issue of not allowing the winners to defend the trophy unless they came fourth or above in their own league being ridiculous - but that is not Evertons concern - They have done their bit by coming fourth.

5/06/2005 2:15 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Redsman seems a bit put out at the prospect Liverpool of being excluded from European football through no fault of their own? Maybe he can empathise now with Evertonians in the mid eighties?

5/06/2005 2:37 pm

Anonymous Stevo said...

Further to my previous post and in response to the first anonymous post.

How nice of him to edit rule 1.03 for us to think that Liverpool should be allowed in over Everton.

When in fact this would still, as I have already said be at the request of the English FA.

Note: This was copied and pasted from the rules of entry to CL

1.03 At the request of the national association concerned, the UEFA Champions
League title-holders may be entered for this competition, as an additional
representative of that association, if they have not qualified for the UEFA
Champions League via the top domestic league championship. If, in such a
case, the title-holders come from an association entitled to enter four teams
for the UEFA Champions League, the fourth-placed club in the top domestic
league championship has to be entered for the UEFA Cup.

5/06/2005 2:37 pm

Blogger mcefc said...

Its not hard to work out which team you support, your log in is a big clue, but your biased, uneducated and one sided views are more of a giveaway. You talk about Liverpool like they are the saviours of the premiership hopes in European football, and Everton have been out in the cold for so many years we should play UEFA football so we can get used to European Football. Chelsea have not won the Premiership before and have not been this successful for years, should we let them play UEFA football next year, they might not be used to it? You have reached a European Final with some of the worst football I have seen in years, as in score and get as many people behind the ball as possible. It may be great for you but for the rest of us its painful, not too mention if Milan want to know how to beat you they should give Nigel Worthington a call! You want the rules changing because they don't suit you, I hope Milan stuff you and then we won't have to listen to a load of whinging Liverpool fans claiming they should be allowed to defend the European Cup. I at one point would have supported Liverpools claims, but they act in such a superior way that I hope they don't even qualify for the UEFA cup now.

5/06/2005 2:58 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thats bullshit that everton be denied place in champions league!!if ever any team deserves to play in CL next year its everton for their stupendous achievements thr the whole of last year,& i'm an arsenal fan sayin this......its pathetic u say everton should play in uefa cup, its sick[though i want liverpool to win the CL this year]

5/06/2005 3:24 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seeing as liverpool have played some of the most pathetic football seen in this year's premiership, it would be an insult to any club in the G14 group if they won the Champions League. The Champions League is fast becoming a bit of a joke as such "illustrious" teams as Monaco and Porto can reach the final(both playing better football than Liverpool). I did enjoy seeing Liverpool beat the russians but they are not good enough to win it and, with any luck, Milan will thump them 5-0 and be done with this.

5/06/2005 3:40 pm

Blogger Eff Hay said...

It is interesting to note that according to the FA's own web site if Everton had finished 4th last season and either Arsenal or Chelsea had gone on to win the CL then Everton would have played in the UEFA Cup. I quote from the FA's website dated 10th March 2004.

"What if?

Should Arsenal or Chelsea win the Champions League, they will automatically qualify for next season's competition but England will not gain an extra Champions League place, even if they finish outside of the top four in the Premiership.

In that scenario the fourth-placed team in the Premiership will play in next season's UEFA Cup."

That statement was present on the FA's website up until yesterday and has since been removed!

5/06/2005 5:23 pm

Blogger Skippy said...

If Liverpool win the Champion's league I can assure you they will be in the competition next year.

UEFA are probably hoping that Milan do them a favour. They were hoping for the same when Liverpool played Byer, Juve and Chelsea.

5/06/2005 5:35 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said... now i doint know about what's happening in the FA... or UEFA... but I'd have to agree that rules should be changed for the sake of football. However, I would not mind if Liverppol win the CL Cup this year and is not allowed to defend it the following year... esp if the rules say so.

5/06/2005 5:43 pm

Blogger T said...

Redsman, given that fourth place was good enough for Liverpool to play in the CL this year, is it not discriminatory to prevent fourth place automatically going into next years CL?

The FA made the right decision to give primacy to fourth place over holders.

It was the only option the FA could take if they want to maintain the primacy and competitiveness of the Premiership over the CL. I said this last week.

Two alternative factors also count against Liverpool if they finish outside the top four:

i)Conciously or sub-conciously, Liverpool have put all their eggs in one basket, unlike every other team competing in the latter stages of the CL. The FA's decision will act as a deterrent for any other team contemplating this strategy in future.

ii)They simply have not been good enough in domestic play to earn the right to play in the top European competition the following season.

Last, without wishing to offend the teams on Merseyside, fourth and third place should be entered into the UEFA Cup.

Both the CL and the UEFA Cup are devalued because of the inflation of the CL into a "European all-comers mini-league and cup competition".

I see Arsene agrees with a previous article of mine that the presige of the top comp in Europe must be restored by reducing the number of teams eligible to play in it.

5/07/2005 11:21 am

Blogger Abdul said...

I have to agree with TS on this one. Liverpool have only themselves to blame for not qualifying for the Champions League next season. 14 league defeats in one season mean that Liverpool have not earned the right to be in the competition next season - whether they win the final on May 25 or not.

Teams enter a tournament to win it - not so that they can earn qualification for next season. So Liverpool should now just concentrate on trying to beat Milan and win the competition - because thats what being in the competition is all about.

5/09/2005 2:08 pm


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