What Is The Europa League?

It seems that the managers of the clubs taking part in the Europa League have been asked to ‘talk it up‘ to try to increase it’s profile. Despite a high-profile re-branding a few years ago the competition still plays second fiddle to the Champions League. The reason is blindingly obvious; the standard is nowhere near as good.

Europa League

Last season Manchester United and Manchester City were relegated to the Europa League because they weren’t good enough to progress to the next stage of the Champions League. Neither side appeared to take it too seriously and didn’t last very long in the competition. Both of the Manchester teams were more than capable of winning the competition with the squads they had, but clearly weren’t that bothered about it.

The Europa League is a chance for smaller clubs who cannot cut it with the big boys in the Champions League to have a shot at a European Cup. Look at the teams which have taken part this week: Newcastle, Inter Milan, Tottenham & Lazio – all top quality clubs but not quite good enough for the Champions League. Look at some of the other teams involved: NK Maribor, Neftchi & Hapoel Kiryat Shmona – hardly footballing powerhouses. Essentially the Europa League is the European version of the Capital One Cup. the smaller clubs will take it seriously from the start and the bigger clubs will start taking it seriously when the prizes are handed out.

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