From:steve d
Subject:Where have you gone Dynamo Dresden?
Date:Date: 20/01/2002

From: steve d
Subject: Where have you gone Dynamo Dresden?
Date: 20/01/2002
Where have you gone Dynamo Dresden?

The draw for the second group phase of the Champions League took place last
November. Liverpool were in the big time again apparently (recent performances
suggest we'd do anything to dispel that myth). We get to play the likes of
Barca and Roma. Yipee. 

And who will we play next season and the season after and the season after (if
we manage to keep on qualifying for the We-might-be-Champions League)? Barca
and Roma. Or maybe Porto and Bayern. Or Porto and Barca. Or maybe Roma and
Bayern again.

This is one of major problems with the Champions League. It has so many
fail-safe measures that the "big" clubs always progress. By big clubs I of
course mean those lucky enough to have found themselves on TV's latest inflated
money-go-round. If you come from a smaller country you don't even get an invite
to the feast. 

Sorry but I don't buy into the hype. These mini-leagues drag on too long with
too many boring or meaningless games. Give me the excitement of knock out
football over two legs. Can there be a Liverpool fan who didn't love last
seasons UEFA Cup run? We played 7 teams from 6 countries in 7 different
countries. It was a fantastic experience; the culture, the food, the drink, the
football! Great times were had in those cities mixing with the opposition fans
and singing our heads off with fellow reds. 

Now we are in the Champions League and once you're in the lucrative pay outs
ensure almost year-on-year participation. The only danger is over-stretching
yourselves financially like Chelsea, Lazio and Fiorentina. Will we ever again
play  those teams with exotic sounding names? Will we ever have to pour over
the AA's European Road Map to find out where the hell the opposition even are?
Will some rudimentary knowledge of the cyrillic alphabet to successfully order
"Erotic Sushi" in Kiev ever seem as vital? 

The G14 (of which LFC were a founding member when it was but a toddler called
the G5) want to restructure European football to their liking so only the big
clubs survive and the big clubs get the money. They want a safety net. They
want a safety net for the safety net. UEFA feel almost obliged to tag along.
What these teams forget is a league, a football structure, the whole basis of
the professional game itself, is only as strong as its weakest member. If the
national leagues wither away the whole game suffers - terminal decline will
kick in.  

Along these lines we have the recent suggestion that the UEFA Cup should be
remodelled to form a Champions League Division 2. The maxim "if it ain't broke
don't fix it" should apply but David O'Leary was there with his puncture repair
kit before Leeds had even played a game this season. We then get Ipswich, who
lest we forget last ventured abroad when flares were common both on and off the
pitch, complaining about the uncertain nature of the knock-out format of the
UEFA Cup. Sorry Mr Sheepshanks but if you're worried about the uncertain nature
of the format it is wise to try winning the games. 

We keep hearing about the shareholders, and the bottom line, and costing-in of
the income from these competitions for the business plans. The product must be
right for the consumer.

Whatever happened to the integrity of the sport? It's got lost in the PR speak
and the glossy brochures. The clubs will soon find that without this basic
integrity the fans will start to drift away. The initial signs are already
there with falling attendances and viewing figures for the fatted calf that is
the Champions League. I'll support us all the way in any competition and as
passionately as the next fan but I think it's time to shout long and loud "UEFA
give us back our competitions". 

With all this in mind (and with profuse apologies to Paul Simon) I offer you my
homage to the UEFA Cup: 

And here's to you, Slovan Liberec. 
Liverpool loves you more than you will know (wo, wo, wo) 
God bless you please Torpedo Moscow. 
Liverpool holds a place for those we play, 
(Hey, hey, hey, . . . hey, hey, hey) 

We'd like to know CSKA or even Feyenoord. 
We'd like to help them drink the night away. 
Look around and all you'd see were banners made of red. 
The famous Koppites singing off their heads. 

And here's to you Girondins Bordeaux. 
Bottles of red just a pound a throw (wo wo wo) 
God bless you, please Zurich Grasshoppers. 
Expensive but the girls are worth the pay, 
(Hey, hey, hey, . . . hey, hey, hey) 

Play it in a country east where no one ever goes. 
Play it at Dukla Prague's little ground. 
Skonta Riga, Copenhagen, Honved or Liege. 
Those teams now never come around 

Allez allez les vertes St Etienne, 
Moenchengladbach, Bruges we so miss you (you hoo hoo) 
Where are you now Polands' Widzew Lodz. 
It's teams like you we really want to play. 
(Allez Allez Allez Allez) 

Sitting on the sofa on a Friday afternoon. 
Watching the Champions League draw come on through 
Barca, Porto, Bayern, Mancs, the same teams once again 
Ev'ry way you look at it, the fans still lose. 

Where have you gone, Dynamo Dresden? 
A Koppite turns his jaded eyes to you. (you hoo hoo) 
What's that you say, Lennart Johannson. 
UEFA have swept the likes of Dresden away? 
(Please don't say, please don't say)