No one wants UEFA’s new cup, just ask Burnley
BURNLEY’S form has improved greatly since they got knocked out of Europe. They were on course for the lowest points total in Premier League history, and they are now just heading for guaranteed relegation. Before the first international break of the season, and competing in the Europa League, they averaged 0.25 points per game. That has now risen to 0.8. Either way, they are going down without improvement. Their form out of Europe this season equates to 30.4 points over the campaign, and in no season since the Premier League began have a club with less than 31 points survived. If Burnley go down, some will hold the Europa League responsible. Despite being out before August ended, there will be much knowing rhetoric from those who thought the wisest tactic was to lose at the first opportunity. So, considering the Europa League is painted as a curse to all but those clubs who have prepared for the Champions League and fallen short, what price interest in UEFA’s latest brainchild — a third competition, inferior to the Europa League, with poorer reach and revenue, also playing Thursday night? At least the Europa League provides potential access to the Champions League. UEFA’s Freight Rover Trophy will reward the winner with a place in — cue fanfare — the Europa League. That’s right, the competition it is now claimed has scuppered Burnley. Maybe they will award places via the Fair Play league. Finish bottom of that, and you’re in.