- Dec 3, 2018
- Manchester City
I have posted about this before, and I'm not sure you're actually genuinely interested in knowing my own opinion given your "bingo" reply to @SquishyMcSquish, but I'll bite even though I know you'll disagree and have a go back!What is the exact nature of your issues with the champions league.
1) To give some context about my age, my first City game was in 1990 (coincidentally against Spurs). As a young fan and as a fan of City, who were not playing in Europe, I genuinely had no interest in European football or the CL (as it soon became) whatsoever. My only frame of reference was City and what City were playing in and I had no interest in watching other teams play in European competition. I think my only knowledge that European football was happening came from my Dad hoping that United lost whatever game they were playing. Prior to City playing in the CL for the first time, I can only ever remember watching one CL game in my lifetime, which was when Liverpool won the final in Istanbul, as my housemate at the time was a big Liverpool fan and I watched with him. Whereas I watched the FA Cup final and the League Cup final every year I suppose because I felt City could one day make it there (and of course I was proud that we had previously won both competitions before my lifetime);
2) To me, the domestic league (and to a lesser extent the domestic cup competitions) is the absolute pinnacle of accomplishment. I think perhaps this derives from the tribalism of football. I am English and grew up with fans of other English clubs, obviously. There's an extra sense of satisfaction when my club beats or finishes above a mate's club (it didn't happen often pre-2008 to be fair...). That element is lost in European competition. I don't know any Real Madrid or Bayern fans etc. There's no tribal element of "otherness" or one-upmanship to it;
3) Football is about trophies, surely! I have never understood the glory in finishing in the top 4. That's not a trophy, that's just a qualification for another competition;
Now to the more controversial parts...
4) As I have said in other posts, prior to the ADUG takeover I had given up any hope of ever seeing City win a trophy in my lifetime. A major part of that was down to our own shambolic management. But another part of that lost hope was the changing structure of football and particularly the impact of CL football on the revenue of the top clubs. In my eyes at the time, the top clubs qualified for the CL, they earnt the additional CL revenue, they used the additional revenue to again qualify for the CL, and round in circles. This was at a time when CL revenue had a disproportionately larger impact on the overall revenue of English clubs than it does now (TV money is now king). It felt like City didn't have a chance however well we did. So yes, I did have a lingering resentment about the CL because I thought it was playing a part in the rich getting richer, and making it more difficult for my club to ever accomplish anything;
5) The CSKA Moscow away game and UEFA's complete disregard for City fans and the money paid out before UEFA decided to play the game behind closed doors. I hate the treatment of matchgoing fans (irrespective of club) and the constant deference to TV fans over matchgoing fans in the eyes of the PL, UEFA etc, so to me that was unforgivable. I have also posted here about Spurs' treatment of City fans earlier this season after the fixture had to be changed due to Spurs' inability to open their stadium on time. I won't forget that lightly either;
6) I'm going to mention this only because you're probably assuming it. UEFA and FFP honestly isn't a big factor in my CL apathy, which far pre-dated FFP. And anyway, I blame the elite clubs far more than I blame UEFA for the design and implementation of FFP;
7) I also have issues with the design of the CL, which probably links to #4 above really, and is currently being discussed in other threads on the forum so I won't go into detail. I'd be much more interested in the CL if I felt it was purely a competition of title-winners (knock-out, non-seeded), rather than a seeded and skewed revenue-generator for the elite clubs.