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That Europe’s premier club competition has become painfully repetitive and largely predictable is a source of regret.
Led by the most powerful, for the sake of their own enrichment, the competition is engineered to suit TV audiences rather than true supporters.
Meanwhile, Michel Platini floats the idea of expanding the format to include 64 teams—under the pretence of helping the many—will further entrench the advantages of the few.
While a bloated group stage, already weighted in favour of the elite by seeding, limits the scope for surprise outcomes, the Europa League is affected by having third-placed failures parachuted in.
The Champions League does tend to come alive by the quarter final stage, at which point I’m already wearied by various combinations of Chelsea, Barcelona, Manchester United and Bayern Munich playing each other over and over and over again.