Aston Villa - UEFA Get Their Knickers In A Twist
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UEFA Get Their Knickers In A Twist

Spurs and Villa have been criticised by UEFA and Platini after fielding weakened teams in the UEFA Cup.

According to French papers (apparently as I don't speak French) Platini is said to be fuming with both clubs for devaluing the competition and it's said if he was able to he would take action over the issue.

Apparently Article 3 of the UEFA Cup regulations state that:

'On entering the competition participating clubs agree:

d) to field their strongest team throughout the competition.'

UEFA themselves believe it would be extremely difficult to prove that either club had broken the rules, or at least sufficiently enough to warrant disciplinary action.

UEFA spokesman Rob Faulkner said:

'Clubs are expected to uphold the spirit of fair play and respect their opponents as well.

'The competition regulations do state clubs should field their strongest team.'

As of yet I'm still to see any official response from Villa directly to this, but to be perfectly honest I couldn't give a Sunday Lunch what Platini or UEFA think.

My own thoughts on playing the youngsters and leaving the majority of the first team behind for the clash are well documented but at the end of the day it's the managers decision, and it's up tot he manager to take the flack from the fans over it.

It has stuff all do to with Platini and UEFA; the simple fact they have a clause requiring teams to play their strongest team is pathetic in the extreme, that is down to the club and manager and not some jumped up regulation.

What next, will UEFA have regulations stating that each striker on the pitch is obligated to make at least 3 attempts on goal per half?

Will our FA insist that teams from lower divisions are giving a goals headstart if playing Premiership opposition to make life more exciting?

Red tape with self serving interests is yet another reason our beautiful game is going down the toilet.

We've heard the General talk about the reality of the game lately, and he's perfectly right. The Chumps League is the be all and end all thesedays and I find that sad.

Maybe if the regulators stopped attempting to introduce a full European league via the backdoor the UEFA Cup and domestic competitions wouldn't suffer and would take on some sense of priority for all the teams involved. If that happened, there would be no need for such pathetic stipulations in the rules.

Where has the magic gone, down the drain because of the money and the polemic view that nothing other than the Champions League is important. Until all teams cease that belief our game will never be great again.

It comes to something when Arsene Wenger has defended Villa and Spurs over the decisions, and more importantly you'd have thought a man of Platini's footballing pedigree would've relished the battle our second string gave CSKA. Afterall, it was a spirited performance from the next generation of footballers and for all of CSKA's quality they almost, almost, did it.

Surely Platini is more interested in great games? That was what our second string delivered in my opinion. Or is he that caught up in red tape and regulations now that he's forgot football is meant to be exciting, passion rousing and some of the best games involve those with something to prove?

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday February 27 2009

Time: 3:49PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I'm even more pleased with MON's selection now that I know it's *****ed Platinin off! Icing on the cake! Now lets get Champions League and ***** him off even more!
Report Abuse
27/02/2009 15:55:00

He's a div, he's always talking about something and it's usually not worth the reading time.
Report Abuse
27/02/2009 15:56:00

thing is, platini is usually having a pop at prem teams for a) not having enough home-grown talent, b) spending money that doesn't reflect there income. now he cant get us on the first as were the only prem team who can field an entire team of english players+ subs (were probably one of the only teams in a top european league who can do that too) and regards to b) i know we've spent alot over the past 2 years, but its not like were man city. so instead he has to find something else to moan about. the man hates the fact that weve got the best league in the world and that half of his countries national team play here. for arsenal.
Report Abuse
27/02/2009 16:38:00

Agree guys, we both put out weakened sides due to the fact that the UEFA Cup is very much second-rate to the Premier League and with us fighting for survival and you pushing for the Champions League, there was never any issues from the fans for weakening the sides so why should it matter to Fatini?
Report Abuse
27/02/2009 16:39:00

And I think we might need that goal head-start next season lol
Report Abuse
27/02/2009 16:42:00

the question he should be asking is - why should a club with a plastis pitch be allowed in such a european championship when it is such an obvious advantage?
Report Abuse
27/02/2009 16:49:00

well it is the champions league's fault for devaluing the UEFA cup, UEFA should look at themselves at what they have done for teams to dismiss the UEFA cup. Not rocket science, Platini has gotta look at why Villa are busting a nut to get champs football. President of european football really does work with this head in the sand. Us fans are confused by the decision of monny and other managers, the reality is UEFA cup is like the Carling cup of the european world of competition. They clearly dont rate it, and if we were 6th or 7th we would of fielded a stronger side, it was monny's back up plan, maybe he didnt forsee champs league qualification this year, and has done better than expected.
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27/02/2009 16:50:00

they should give the winner of the uefa cup a champions league place..then every team would be up for it
fran merida
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27/02/2009 16:57:00

thats the problem fran, you would devalue it even more by offering a champs league spot. It's meant to be a second respectable euro competition. Non starter that idea.
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27/02/2009 17:09:00

'Clubs are expected to uphold the spirit of fair play and respect their opponents as well. 'The competition regulations do state clubs should field their strongest team.'

personally think that is spot on, I'm ashamed of how we worked so hard to get in the comp and then threw in the towell when the going got tough. If it is 2nd rate (and it appears it is) then what the hell did they work so hard to qualify for?
,br>totally agree with bobbyfett though, how the hell can a plastic pitch be allowed? And as per other comments in another article earlier, totally agree fran merida, all cups maybe should give a CL place instead of 2-4 in the league. If you got in via the UEFA maybe we'd have shown the competition that WE entered a bit more respect.
The Fear
Report Abuse
27/02/2009 17:16:00

I think this will go on for years the argument for and against, we sure aint many friends in europe.
Report Abuse
27/02/2009 17:27:00

It`s just the anti English mentality of our european counterparts, thye would love nothing more than to ban a few more English teams just to stop us dominating europe again. Fuuk off Platini and your sugar daddy Blatter. We own the oldest football cup compitition on the planet, the FA cup is the dogs bolox of club competition. We should put more emphasis on this fact and show it the respect it deserves. Best of luck in your quest for CL football Villa. COYS!
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27/02/2009 17:28:00

Totally agree with Merida and Fear about the CL place for the winner. I also didn't like us fielding such a weak team. I feel with just a little more quality in the team we could have progressed, without our full team. But as for Platini's comments! I just dont get him, isnt he always going on about a "level playing field" Surely, he should be pleased that English teams field a weaker team to give other nations teams more of a chance? Normally he is breaking his head thinking of so called "fairer" ideas to disable English teams chances! Anyway, all they need to do is ban teams who play such weak teams from playing the next year in any UEFA competition. INCLUDING the CL! I dont think they (we) would be in a rush to do it again!
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27/02/2009 18:01:00

In 68 we were crap, but fans could still hope and dream that one day we might win the League - and we did. Now, however much better we are we will never win the League under the current money bags set up. The Champions League is not the holy grail, but a big part of the poison that has ruined football. TV money, prize money the rich get richer. This is not Sport. Sport is trying to win every game.
Report Abuse
27/02/2009 19:39:00

but I have to ask was it worth entering in the first place?
Report Abuse
27/02/2009 21:31:00

Here's an idea. Do a better job of selling the TV rights to the UEFA games and give the clubs more money for advancing. I would bet that if there was a sizeable enough reward for advancing, clubs would take the UEFA more seriously.
Report Abuse
27/02/2009 22:30:00

Also good point Attila with the tv rights.
Report Abuse
28/02/2009 01:44:00

If they are serious about making the Uefa cup worth winning, they should sort the format out. Having Champions league teams falling into it completely destroys the format. Its ridiculous. It should also be a knockout competition, like the FA.Cup. Have home and away ties at the quarter finals stage. It would then grab much more attention of managers as appealing as theres much less games to play but the ones you do play are much more important. Platini is a complete ass bandit.
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28/02/2009 01:44:00

Though it's always nice to think that Platini has been irritated by the act of an English club (or clubs) the fact is that neither Villa nor Spurs were ever in danger of being punished for fielding weakened teams so long as they lost - anything that serves to lower the co-efficient for English clubs is alright by Platini and his cronies. Ironically had you won the match and tie with weakened teams I reckon they might have tried to throw the book at you...
Report Abuse
28/02/2009 02:56:00

I don't see the problem. With a small squad, one has to prioritise and like MON said himself the league is the holy grail!
Report Abuse
28/02/2009 03:56:00

I would just love to know how our working class game has fallen into the hands of suited, petite bourgeois, free lunch eating swine of the highest order? It's all politics now. I hate the likes of Blatter, Platini, Johannsen, that bloody crook Jack Warner, as well as Lord Triesman (LORD!!!), Brian 'no stranger to the sweet trolley' Barwick and all the old senile idiots who have been in charge of the FA. What do they offer the game apart from stupid rule changes to justify their parasitic existence and getting the 'respectable' middle classes involved to price out 'unwanted' elements from the terraces... sorry, seated areas! ********s.
Report Abuse
28/02/2009 04:13:00

Is it even a question? Of course it's worth entering. We've got to pick up the point somewhere and the more we're in Europe the easier the games will be. Unfortunately CL is where you get a big name. Getting 4th s as good as winning the league used to be for most English clubs.
Report Abuse
28/02/2009 16:26:00

And if Platini read the small print on the Villa contract E it clearly states you can clear off you frog eating tosspot, we will field the team we want to field as the manager secures Champions League football... I suspect you will have a shyt fit when we are in the semi-final with three other British clubs.
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01/03/2009 01:24:00


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