We all know that the Europa League is UEFA’s trouble child. Its European Club Football’s sloppy seconds. Unless a team’s name starts with the word Athletic, there’s a good chance that the only people who care less about this competition is their fans. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Secondary competitions like the Cup Winner’s Cup and the UEFA Cup were valued parts of the European football scene back in the day. So how can we bring some life to the Europa League?
Worry not, for Four Five Two has all the answers.
Champions League Qualification
We all know that anyone in European competition REALLY wants to be the Champions League, so why not make that the gold pot at the end of the rainbow for the Europa League? If winning the whole thing meant Champions League qualification, you could guarantee that English and Italian teams would start taking the Europa League seriously.
No one knows quite how many games a team needs to win to win the Europa League. UEFA has employed several mathematicians and super computers to figure it out, but no one has been able to assign a numerical value that high to the task.
So let’s cut down the games and make the whole thing genuinely different than the Champions League. Once everyone’s done with automatic qualification or qualifying rounds, make the whole thing random knock out style. Cuts down on games and brings back the craziness of the old European Cup format.
Ok, no one cares about the Europa League anyway, so let’s mix it up. No offsides, handballs encouraged, 15 men allowed on the pitch for each team. Fuck it. Let’s turn this shit into Calvinball.
Performance enhancing drugs almost destroyed baseball a few years ago and no one wants to see the same thing happen to the beautiful game. So we won’t do that. What we will do is get everyone in the Europa League wacked out on Cocaine. After all if there’s one thing we’ve learned from the career of Diego Maradona, arguably the greatest player ever, its that cocaine is a helluva drug. Tired of seeing your team not finish their runs in the People’s Republic of Shelled Out Concrete Structurastan against Dinamo Oil Money in sub zero weather on a Thursday night? Load them up on some Columbian Marching Powder and watch Berbatov start going in with two feet.
What’s that you say? An eastern european team you’ve never heard of is playing their third group stage match against a midtable Italian side you forgot existed? No one on the pitch gives a fuck? Struggling to stay awake? Its time to follow the lessons of the Roman Empire. Since flooding the pitch and simulating naval battles would just be silly, let’s just release some captive Lions craving the taste of human flesh. Either we’ll get an entertaining game or Joaquin Phoenix is gonna die. Either way, we all win?
I’m not sure if boobs can help make some of these turgid thursday nights entertaining, but it can’t hurt to try.
Worried about your team not putting out a strong enough side? Don’t think they can be bothered? Well then I propose every year that one team eliminated in the group stages is taken to a secret compound on the Iberian Peninsula where Radamal Falcao can engage in his favorite past time and hunt them for sport. That’ll teach ‘em to start 18 year olds.