Am I the only Englishman hoping Barcelona win the Champions League?
United, Arsenal and Chelsea fans apart, of course, I wonder what most neutrals think of three English teams making the semi-finals - AGAIN?
Usually when watching an English team in Europe I would prefer them to win for sheer national pride. But the top heavy nature of the Champions League recently towards English clubs can’t be good for the game. The English sides are threatening to over-run the competition and I think it would be to the detriment of the European game if we saw another all-English final, no matter how significant it would be for the Premier League.
But what can be done?
Well, reducing the number of places for English teams would be a start. I find it ridiculous that Arsenal can be nowhere near the league title this season yet they will still have a shot at the ‘Champions’ league next season. It makes a mockery of it. If we halved the amount of places available it is my football prediction that this would remove that Champions League comfort zone and, perhaps more crucially, distribute the wealth more fairly.
As long as the money goes to the same few clubs the ‘competition’ in its truest sense will disappear. The infamous G14 group of rich clubs may have disbanded but the elite sides still carry too much influence with the powers that be and will not want the Champions League purse loosened too tightly.
I am sure some people will accuse me of being negative; after all it wasn’t too long ago that English sides got nowhere near the latter stages of European competition, especially in the years immediately after their European ban. English success should be celebrated they say (I say English, though most of the players and staff involved aren’t English!)
But English European dominance doesn’t extend down to the UEFA Cup, where only....
Read the rest of my guest blog over at Soccer City FC