Saturday, January 27, 2007
Michel Platini, the greatest European footballer of the 1980s and one of the most likeable people in football administration (there is not much competition, admittedly) has succeeded in his quest to be elected President of UEFA, beating off the incumbent of seventeen years Lennart Johansson. One can forgive Platini his friendship with number one fool Sepp Blatter as he plans to restructure the Champions' League by making it more what it was before the bullies of the G14 muscled in, a genuine competition of Champions. More teams from the lesser nations will have a chance to compete and though this may not mean more exciting football at first after a few years it is likely that a greater spread of revenues will allow teams from countries such as the Norway, the Czech Republic, Scotland and elsewhere compete on a more level playing field with the big boys. The G14 is one of the more distasteful developments in World football in recent years, allowing a carve-up of spoils among mostly underachieving giants of yesteryear and some clubs that barely warrant a place in there at all, such as Paris Saint-Germain, who will possibly be plying their trade in the wintry provinces of France's Ligue 2 next year. To see some of these franchises stymied in their attempts to dominate and expect a God-given right to participation in Europe's most lucrative sports tournament would be a joy to see as well as being good for the game. Best of luck to Platini in his efforts to stop them.