Spreading out the Champions League is a masterstroke

February 15, 2010

Non-football fans are in for a nasty month if they think they have any chance of wrestling the television remote from soccer-mad members of the household.

UEFA has come up with the wonderful idea of spreading out the Champions League last 16 matches over a month.

Instead of the two-leg ties all being squeezed into a two-week period, we now have the luxury of just two games per night for the next few midweeks. 

Imagine if the two standout ties of the round, AC Milan v Manchester United and Inter v Chelsea, had been played on the same night. It would have been torture trying to choose between the two matches.

Now we can sit, relax and absorb all the build-up to both games completely separately.

Milan and David Beckham face United in their first leg on Tuesday with Chelsea travelling to meet Inter and Jose Mourinho a week on Wednesday.

UEFA doesn’t always get it right but this innovation makes perfect sense, especially from a financial point of view. The European governing body says it will make no extra money because the number of matches is the same but the television advertising revenue for example will skyrocket with viewers concentrating on just two games.

It’s a great idea for another reason — Milan’s San Siro pitch would have struggled to cope with two matches in two days!

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Milan sure to win!

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