Harsh on Tottenham as they miss out on Champions League
Published: 29.05.12 / Written by: David Gold
Chelsea's victory in the Champions League at the weekend ensured that Tottenham would miss out on the Champions League, despite finishing fourth.
This was of course due to what happened in 2005. Then, Liverpool won the Champions League, whilst Everton finished fourth. UEFA expected Liverpool to take the fourth Champions League spot, but the Premier League had other ideas, and gave the spot to Everton. Thus, UEFA made an exception to allow Liverpool into the competition from the first qualifying round.
As it happened, Liverpool went on to qualify for the group stage that year whilst Everton missed out after losing to Villarreal. Now though, Tottenham have found the other end of that stick. They won’t even go into the qualifiers.
It is harsh on a team who were for most of the season, one of the three sides who looked set to win the league. Particularly to miss out by one point on third and then on the Champions League to a team finishing in sixth place.
The argument goes that the team winning the competition should have the chance to defend it. But that seems a little flawed. The World Cup and European Championship winners do not automatically qualify. To defend it, they must qualify. The same should be true of Champions League winners – to defend their trophy, they should have to qualify. The qualifying process should count as part of the defence. If they fail to qualify, they will fail to defend it.
For Chelsea now, they go into next season’s Champions League making a mockery of the competition like few teams will have before. The sixth best team in their country. No team will ever have competed in the Champions League from such a low position. And this is supposed to be the Champions League. So much for that. But Chelsea will be in next year’s competition. Many will argue that the competition is diluted by having any team which has not won their own domestic league compete. Yet there is another key point. At least when you have the top four teams in a country, you know those are the best teams on offer. But taking a team who finished sixth over the two who finished above them does not sit well.
That though, is the way of things in this day and age, and Tottenham fans won’t like it, but there is very little they can do other than grit their teeth in barely concealed anger.