Caught Offside

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Barcelona President States that Premier League Must Be Cut to Help Champions League

by The Newshound

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Nou Camp supremo gets greedy.

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Barcelona president Sandro Rosell says the Premier League needs to be cut by four teams to help the Champions League.

Rosell, who is also vice president of the European Club Association (ECA), wants to play European games at weekends and to cut down on international fixtures.

“We could perhaps play Barcelona versus Manchester United on Saturdays.”

Rosell says such scheduling cannot happen while the leagues in England, Spain and Italy continue to have 20 clubs.

“It’s something all of them (the domestic leagues) would have to agree to, The objective of reducing from 20 to 16 teams is to give more space to our players. Then, once the dates are liberated, these dates are not for the (national) federations.

“The dates are for the clubs to organise friendly games or to increase the European competitions.”

SOURCE: BBC Sport

This makes little sense to me. Why is the president of a La Liga side advising, in fact his tone almost seems more like he’s ordering, that the Premier League should cut the amount of teams competing in it? One wouldn’t expect Sir Alex Ferguson to announce in an interview that the Spanish league needs to shed four teams to improve a continental competition, after all what the hell does it have to do with him?

The idea that the European competitions need to be increased is also something of a non-starter. Who believes the Champions League needs to increase in size?

The suggestion that these spare dates created by the drop to 16 teams, could be used for friendlies will not appeal. No one cares about friendlies, even if they are between European giants. These friendlies do well Pre-season simply because they give fans a chance to watch football after two months off over the summer, friendlies during the middle of the season make little or no sense.

Also the assertion that the Champions League needs to be improved is also misguided. UEFA’s showpiece tournament already does very well, generating huge incomes for those involved and the idea that big leagues need to reduce their size just to further improve a competition that is already a huge cash cow just stinks of excessive greed.

One can only hope that the Premier League ignores these pleas, Barcelona are also looking to reduce the size of La Liga in an attempt to get themselves a bigger size of the TV pie and now are looking for other big leagues to do likewise.

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