Daily Mail

No one wants UEFA’s new cup, just ask Burn­ley

- Sports · UEFA Champions League · Soccer · UEFA · Burnley F.C. · Burnley · 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.

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