CRYSTAL PALACE chairman Steve Parish claims Uefa are allowing former European Super League members to revive their hated scheme by the backdoor.
One year after the ESL plot was scuppered, he says Euro football chiefs are sucking up to elite clubs — including the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ — by allowing them Champions League entry, even if they fail to reach existing qualifying rules.
Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish feels the Big Six are still getting preferential treatmentCredit: PA
The tournament will be revamped in 2024 and asked if we have learned anything since, Parish said: “No, we’ve gone backwards. They (the Big Six) are still getting everything they want.
“There was a spirit of revolution against them last year but now no one is saying ‘We are going to share some commercial income’, or ‘We are going to do anything differently’.
“I really feel that for some bizarre reason, everyone feels intimidated by making any positive change.
“Uefa is not fit for purpose. It’s all about trying to promise the broadcasters ‘We will get you all the top teams in the Champions League, by hook or by crook, we will gerrymander it so you can give us a load of money’ — and everyone else will know we are also-rans.
“Most days you feel like someone is trying to change the rules to disadvantage us.
“Maybe we’re all stupid, maybe we’re naive, maybe we get up every day and it’s a waste of time — we’re never going to win anything, we should stay in our place.
“Well I’m not going to do that, I just don’t see the point. I don’t think other clubs should be prepared to do it either. We have to remember why we all love football — and that’s because teams like us can achieve success.
“But this stuff Uefa are talking about, that if you win the FA Cup and you’re Tottenham you go into the Champions League but if you’re Aston Villa or Nottingham Forest you don’t . . . ”
Villa and Forest have, of course, won the European Cup.
Super Leaguers Spurs, Arsenal and Manchester City never have.
But the ‘coefficient’ system helps sustain the rich — who are petrified of well-run smalltown clubs such as Villarreal, last year’s Europa League winners and this season’s Champions League semi-finalists.
Parish added: “These coefficients shouldn’t even exist.
“If we got in the Champions League, our starting point (for TV money) would be £1million and Chelsea’s would be £30m because of the marketing coefficient — who came up with that? It really does feel that you’re besieged.”