Date: 16th May 2007 at 2:35pm
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I’m not one to criticise too much (in public anyway!) when something is someone else’s work, especially when it is only a matter of opinion but the thought the UEFA Cup should be binned is ludicrous.

Stephen Mills, who writes for has questioned the merits of an apparently “increasingly pointless competition.” Whilst I can understand, and even agree with some of the theories behind such a suggestion I cannot, and will not agree that the UEFA Cup should be abolished.

It clearly isn’t the tournament it once was and the fact that teams not good enough for the Champions League (when they get knocked out) are drafted in is bang out of order, but the UEFA Cup makes European football possible for the likes of Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Middlesbrough etc. and even some of this countries biggest clubs in the shape of Everton and Tottenham Hotspur.

He says he is an Aston Villa fan, so he isn’t one of these “big boys” looking down on the minnows, but such a move (doing away with the UEFA Cup) would make the strangle hold the “bigger clubs” have on the game throughout the European Leagues, let alone Europe even stronger and would in all effectiveness leave pretty much 16 other Premiership club with virtually nothing to play for over the course of a season (except avoiding relegation of course!), we’d be better off just letting these “bigger clubs” play on their own, or break away (as has often been suggested) to form a European Super League.

The whole European football concept has changed dramatically over the years and isn’t the same as it used to be but this is the football governing bodies fault, this is something we must ALL think about! They changed the European format, in particular to suit the Champions League to accommodate more “bigger sides”, as a result the European Cup Winners Cup was combined with the UEFA Cup which means some lesser known or glamorous clubs take part in the UEFA Cup format as it is now. Maybe it should be more of a thought that the Cup Winner Cup should be re-introduced?!?!

Whatever, I’d rather take part in a “second rate” European competition than none at all?

To see the article written by’s Stephen Mills click here.


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26 Replies to “Bin the UEFA Cup!”

  • Utter rubbish, this would send the game into a greater decline than the decline it threatens to take. It would in effect KILL off sides other than the “big four” in this country and the giants of European Leagues. What would the likes of Rovers etc. end up playing for each season!?!? I know we’d follow Rovers (or our club) whatever but if we were basically playing to finish as high up the League behind the big four (hoping to one day break into the top four) what’s the point. Cold European nights against a minnow from Latvia appeal to me than cold nights doing nothing, merely looking to get a another (what would be) pointless season out of the way.

  • Pointless……???? Increased revenue for clubs with limited budgets, extra variety for fans, more global recognition, the chance for players to win medals…. yeah pretty pointless.

  • I couldn’t believe what i was reading when i spotted his article – Unbelievable. As you point out, he makes some (almost) valid points, and one i would specifically agree with is that the group stage is ridiculous. However, it’s been ridiculous in the Champions league for years – They should be two knockout competitions, and the “drop” into the UEFA cup should be abolished.

  • he’s just bitter that villa lost out in the fair play ballot…. that’s the real embarrassment to the UEFA cup!

  • totally agree with this article … I mean the UEFA cup is not just for the clubs you mentuioned … what about when millwall lived the dream getting in there through the FA cup !!!

  • The reason the UEFA Cup is held with such distane is the fact it is the smaller, runt of a brother of it’s almighty concuring Champions League brother, take some of the money away from that and give it to the UEFA Cup (as they should!) and teams will VERY much want to be a part of it, not that many don’t want to be anyway. Let’s not forget the Champions League was once the European Cup, a cup for ONLY the winners of the League. It’s still a great competition but why isn’t he arguing that this is making a mockery of the European Cup?!?! A team that finishes a dozen points or more behind the League winners can win the damn thing can’t they, Despite the obviously quality, quality sides in the tournament is this not more of a mockery of a tourament that the UEFA Cup?!?!

  • Exactly dazednconfuzed, it gives ALL clubs a dream to look for when entering Cup competitons as well, winning a Cup (or runner up to a team already in Europe) and you can play in the UEFA Cup. European football is the DREAM for every club, few achieve it, but those that do love it.

  • I will never forget this year’s UEFA Cup exploits. It is what made it a standout season…. ask Newcastle, everton, Bolton and even the blooody arrogant Spurs fans if they would like it scrapped??!??!!?!

  • I don’t think you’ll find many teams that would want it scrapped would you Mikey? Although one of my best friends said yesterday, and this surprised me and even angered me BIG time “I’m not so sure UEFA Cup football is so important now, it’s not a tournament that I take much interest in, so I don’t think it effects what signings can or can’t be made as a result of being in it or not!” I wasn’t best please and argued my point, but needless to say he is a Champions League veteran who hasn’t had to deal with mere “UEFA Cup” football for a long time, he’s one of the big four followers, but has been his WHOLE life.

  • For me, that’s why our league needs a good shake up – Nothing against your mate, but followers of the top four teams seem to have lost all grip on the reality of football. Their dominance has been so all-consuming that they now completely underestimate everything but their grip on the champions league.

  • Totally agree Head Rover Heels, he’s my oldest and one of my best friends but quite frankly that attitude sucked big time and I saw it as an insult to Rovers and ANY other club outside of this top four lot. Life doesn’t end below fourth does it and the sooner the footballing authorties (at home and abroad), the media (written and visual) and many, many (not all!) fans realise this the better it will be for EVERYONE!

  • If you remove the UEFA cup then 16 clubs would go into the league season with the only goal to avoid relegation. When well even getting relegated no-one will realy care they stand to achieve the same amount as championship clubs anyway. Don’t think ****e CL teams who get knocked out should go into the cup either, and i think EVERY club in it should start at the same stage, it has it’s faults, but i can’t see why anyone but a big 4 fan would want rid of it

  • I’ll add this Mike… … and although I know this isn’t the right attitude AT ALL why should even the big four fans care about it, so you can argue why would even they not want it taking place?!?!

  • a team like arsenal might, they are never going to win the CL, but their rivals spurs might win a euro competition, they only reason they would want rid is to keep their monoply of winning things over other english clubs.

  • Not sure I agree with that argument Mike, don’t think keeping the monopoly of winning things over other clubs would be the thinking would it?!?! As it happens, my personal opinion is I could see Arsenal winning the Champions League (and would love to this as I would ANY other English club) they should have won it last year.

  • What other reason could they have though mate other than to begrudge rivals? seriously the CL you earn about 20 X the amount the UEFA does, i can’t think of any other reason. Either way i’m sure everyone on this site agrees it should be kept, maybe changed slightly but still there.

  • I see no reason to scrap the UEFA cup.. although I’m not convinced by the group stages and CL rejects. It should definitely be a straight knock-out… Also what’s next scrapping the FA Cup because it gives minnows a chance to have an exciting season regardless of their league fortunes, because the UEFA cup is the European equivalent. Also even though I’m delighted that Rover’s will be in the intertoto, I don’t really think 10th in the league is a position worthy of qualifying for europe. Similarly the fair play places should be scrapped as they are ridiculous also. (despite my comments above I’ll obviously be delighted if rovers reach the UEFA cup next year!)

  • Putting the CL League rejects in there is pointless….. it detriments the teams that strived to get there.

  • Stephen Mills, join the GET STUFFED list (which is growing lol). The Uefa cup gives an opportunity for clubs like ours, who are not as consistent as the top 4 teams, the experience to experience european football. We ake this competiotion seriously, and im sure if Villa won the Eufa, u would not of come out and said that

  • To be honest with you, the sooner they draft up a two tier european league system the better, that will allow the “Champions league teams to compete on a richer stage and use the CL as their euro cup competition alongside the league. The premiership can carry on as is without them and the winners of the Premiership (or any other country’s respective title for that matter) get promoted ONLY if one of their countries teams is in the relegation spots, IE, if the bottom 3 in tier 2 were Rosenborg, Liverpool and Juventus, then the winners of that season’s titles in their respective countries would be promoted whilst the others would return to their domestic leagues. Granted, it would be a bit ch if we won the league in this format but there were no english teams relegated that season but thats life aint it. The UEFA cup would then provide european competition with other leagues as it is now without the interference of the CL. Before anyone mentions the lack of the “big 4” in terms of competing with them, the FA cup could still be used as a domestic cup competition in which ALL english clubs are entered, maybe the Euro league teasm would either drop out of the league cup or field reserve teams in them, but any club in the euro league would have to register a squad of no more than 20 players for the domesitc cup games, therefore they couldnt field a team of reserves/youngsters against Scunthorpe then have all their big guns for the semis/final.

    Sooner they do something akin for this, the better we ALL will be!

  • apart from being a case of sour grapes… it gives the second tier premiership teams, like us, Bolton, Spurs, Everton, Villa, Newcastle, Man City and Portsmouth something to play for. Only Rovers outside of the “top four” have ever won the Prem, something even Liverpool can’t claim, The man is a fool or deliberately posted the arcticle to wind up readers.

  • BomBom – you make some very valid points… I have been staunchly against a true Top Flight European League… But I might be persuaded to change… however, I wouldn’t want Rovers to play in such a league. I enjoy watching good honest football, played English style, it infuriates me having to watch play acting, whether by a Rovers player or not!, and seeing as that is something that has creeped into our English game from Europe… As far as the teams that are fielded in lesser cup games… Perhaps the solution should be that all teams (much like with World Cups) have to declare a set number of players in a squad for the whole season, with perhaps the option to add/remove names half way through the season. The club would then have to select from this list for ALL games, league or cup.

  • I agree with both BomBom and Ex Ewood, some VERY good points and something for consideration. Eventually something will happen along these lines. As for the play acting angle, it’s a horrible site isn’t it and more English players are doing this too, Joe Cole is the worst one from these shores but I have to admit David Bentley is doing this more and more, some of the moves he performs when touched, and some dives he takes (I see these through my blue and white specs lol!) are cringe worthy!

  • dont agree with the two tiered system suggested by bom bom as i feel this would mean players would like to play for a club like rosenburg rather then rovers or spurs or everton etc although we are in a better domestic league! i also feel it would compound our difficulty in signing big players and would cement the stepping stone attitude that some players seem to have!

  • I think durks makes a good point… Plus its against all my principles. I still think that the top 4’s not untouchable in the premiership and look at the Spanish league where Sevilla could still win it and look like finishing top 3/4 at least. I love domestic leagues and I love the upset when a side like shef u beats arsenal. I think the “big 4” have been overhyped and although they overshadow the likes of rovers at the moment, I wouldn’t have it any other way

  • Simple question fellas. If we were relegated next season and the season after and the season after and are playing in the old division 4 (League 2 now) would you still follow Rovers? If your answer is yes, then the points made above, which i concede have some merit, are null and void. Yes we all want our team to be successful and win things and have great players but the fact of it is, i would support Rovers if they were in the Rymans or Doc Martins league.

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