First I realise these will most likely never happen but still I do feel these changes would improve European football and If I was the main man in the corridors of power at UEFA and I had total control to implement any changes I saw fit, I wouldnt even need to think about it, I have my list ready!
Football is the greatest game on earth and there isnt much tinkering that can be done on the pitch, so only one of my changes will effect the actual game on the pitch. The rest are more based around improving European competitions.
So here they are the five changes I would make to football to improve it and keep things fresh.
1. The Europa League Winners go straight into Champions League group stages. I honestly think this would be a great move it would add fresh impetus to the Europa league, for reasons ill never understand, recent years has seen clubs field weakened teams in this trophy as they feel qualifying for the Champions League is more important than winning a European trophy. Guaranteeing the winners a CL spot would also guarentee their complete focus on what is, in my mind at least, still a prestigious trophy.
2. Scrap the away goals rule.
A controversial one perhaps, but really what purpose does this serve nowadays? Sure it was better than tossing a coin as they used to, but can it honestly be said that if a team draws 2-2 at home and then 1-1 away they deserve to go out the competition? I know it was designed to encourage away teams to attack more but if anything now it makes home teams more nervy and defensive minded as they are terrified of conceding that crucial yet absurd away goal.
3. Fourth officials more involved.
Referees and fourth officials are generally a fit bunch correct? So why does the fourth official stand at the dugout the whole game? At corners and free kicks and generally any time the ball is looking like it might be put into the box surely the 4th official can get up the line and behind the goal, that way if there is any did it didn’t cross the line moments, the 4th offical can quickly tell the referee what he saw. This is surely a better and certainly a cheaper way compared with goalline technology, and smaller clubs don’t need to worry and spending a fortune kitting out their goalposts. Make the 4th official earn his money!
4. Introduce a third European tournament.
Maybe its just me, but I love European competition, and I’m sure fans of clubs like Fulham and Getafe who have had a taste of European football but don’t know when they will see it again will agree. I know fixture lists are bloated as it is, but I genuinely think this might work, again you could put an incentive in there like guarenteed qualification for the following seasons Europa league group stage. Play it over the season in the same way as the CL & EL to avoid Intertoto Cup comparisons though!
5. Make the champions league knockout a straight draw.
Take away the country protection that currently exists and put all 16 of Europe’s best in the hat and draw them out, its very simple. I know this in particular will never happen as it doesn’t suit the interests of the big clubs or the tv companies who want the big clubs in the later rounds, but by god it would be exciting! It would also give a better chance for smaller clubs to perhaps reach a final or even semi final instead of the usual suspects every year.
These arent huge changes but I do feel they would be improvements even if only slightly. What do you think? Comment on the blog or tweet us @euroleaguenews