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February 09, 2007

Champion's Greed Final? Fingers crossed!

Champleagueathens_1 It is totally hypocritical of me, giving the amount of time I have spent over the last ten years slagging off the UEFA Champions Greed (TM) moneyfest (well, except when Leeds were in it, obviously), but this week I have applied for tickets to go to the 2007 final.

Obviously, there is little chance of getting them, and at €80 each they are astonishingly over-priced, but this year the showpiece final is in Athens, so it seemed churlish not to try and go. As I understand it, there are around 9,000 tickets for fans around Europe to apply for, with an additional 4,600 tickets reserved for fans based in Greece. 17,000 tickets go to each club in the final, and the remaining gazillion tickets go to corporate fat-cats and guests of UEFA and their sponsors. Like I say, I've got virtually no chance of getting one, but you never know. And, obviously, having the final in Athens this year is in no way UEFA trying to balance things up after Istanbul hosted it in 2005 ;-)

Oh, and if you want any evidence that the UEFA Champions League money-go-round is having an adverse affect on domestic competition, just see if you can spot a trend amongst the clubs winning the two major trophies in England, and regular qualification to the Champions League.

Last 10 Premier League Champions: Chelsea, Chelsea, Arsenal, Man U, Arsenal, Man U, Man U, Man U, Arsenal, Man U.

Last 10 F.A. Cup Winners: Liverpool, Arsenal, Man U, Arsenal, Arsenal, Chelsea, Man U, Arsenal, Chelsea, Man U

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