Officials within UEFA are said to be up in arms at the prospect of Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur muddying up their elite Champions League competition next season, believing it to be the work of the Football Association gaining revenge for their treatment in recent years from FIFA.
The duo, who in UEFA’s eyes lack the pedigree and financial clout of Manchester United and Chelsea, currently occupy the top two places in the Premier League. Further, it would appear that even if either – or preferably both – suffer a loss of form, the lack of quality outside the top four should see both sides qualifying for the prestigious tournament with relative ease.
UEFA Executive member Peter Gilliéron told reporters: ‘This is blatantly a case of behind-the-scenes machinations by a FA that is still reeling from losing the 2018 World Cup to Russia. Why they should be taking their anger out on us is beyond me.
‘I tried to talk to (fellow Executive member) David Gill about it, but he just banged on about fairness and good teamwork, and all that kind of guff’, the Swiss national continued, ‘like there’s any room for either of that when it comes to participating in the Champions League’.
UEFA’s third vice-president, Italian Giancarlo Abete, went one step further when he bluntly said: ‘Who are Leicester to think they belong in the same competition as Bayern Munich and Real Madrid? And who is this Tottenham? I never even knew there were two clubs in North London’.
Grigoriy Surkis, yet another vice-president, said: ‘The thought of having to rub shoulders with commoners like Daniel Levy and Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha makes my skin crawl. Do you know they both actually abided by our Financial Fair Play rules? It was supposed to keep clubs like that out, for God’s sake! I need a drink’.
The top three Premier League clubs automatically qualify for the Champions League group stages, with the fourth having to qualify via a play-off. Officials are currently crossing their fingers and praying to God that Arsenal and Manchester City can overtake the underdogs in the coming weeks.