Will Liverfool win the Europa Mouse Cup?

by Charlie Coffey

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010
 

Liverpool are finished, aren’t they? The season has been a disaster on the pitch, the club is divided off it by joint-owners who want out but are reluctant to sell in case such a deal benefits the other. The manager cannot be sacked however bad his team performs because Liverpool simply cannot afford to do so.

Although all this was true a mere month or so ago, Liverpool have improved of late. The ten-man victory over bitter rivals Everton was massive in terms of significance if not three points. The recovery of Alberto Aquilani from injury and the poaching of Maxi Rodriguez on a free add new edge and creativity going forward.

While they can recover in the league to stave off the assault on the Big Four from the likes of City, Villa and Spurs (in that order), their real hope of salvation from the mire they find themselves wading in is to win that massive tournament that is the Europa League.

Can they do it? Liverpool proved in the win against Everton and the 2-0 defeat of Manchester United earlier in the season that on their day, in a one-off match of great significance, they are capable of beating anyone. Do they want it? To win this tournament would mean finishing ahead of teams such as Juventus, Valencia, Benfica and Villareal and, now the comical group stage is finished, the knock-out format will suit Liverpool…

What the hell am I talking about? This trophy is the most worthless scrap of tat to be churned out of UEFA’s vile, money-grabbing bowels. Mickey Mouse himself would blush at the prospect of being mentioned in the same breath as a trophy with less value than the champagne that eleven embarrassed professionals will drink out of during the ‘celebrations’ at the end of the final, wishing they hadn’t been knocked out of the real deal: The Champions League.

Liverpool’s only hope is to gain a bit of revenue from the Europa in order to feed their growing debt, and offer bigger wage packets to Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres in a desperate attempt to keep them at the club that they have been dragging, kicking and screaming, away from the open jaws of mid-table mediocrity for some time now.

It’s simple. This season is about damage limitation. The league is more important to Liverpool. Whilst winning the Europa League will give them five minutes of half-hearted pleasure in May, losing fourth place in the Premier League could be the beginning of the end: No Champions’ League revenue, a stadium that can’t compete with their competitors (apart from Chelsea who have Abramovic’s Roubles to fall back on) and a big red hole in their finances, growing by the second.

Yes, United are further in debt, but while they continue to challenge at home and in the Champions League they have a fighting chance of matching the huge interest repayments saddled on them by merciless cash leaches from America and represent a more attractive prospect to new investors.

That people like Hicks, Gillett and Glazer can be allowed to do this to clubs the size of Liverpool and United; footballing institutions and part of our national heritage, is a scandal.

Yes, Liverpool are capable of winning their second-rate European ‘trophy’, but if they do not finish in fourth place this season their troubles have only just begun, Europa League or no Europa League

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  • James

    Pointless article, if liverpool win the Europa, they take the fourth champions league spot. I don’t think you were aware of this fact, so I’m guessing winning it means something. I would love Liverpool to finish 5th and qualify for the champions league.

  • DRP

    James Says:
    February 17th, 2010 at 11:02 am

    er….?

  • Vishal

    James – I don’t think so mate!! Winning the Europa League gets you direct entry into the group stages of the Europa League. Oh joy.

  • Dave

    There are some truth’s in your article – particularly regarding the Yanks – however what they are doing at the moment to Lfc & Man U is small fry compared to what will happen in the future when they are playing EPL games in Asia ( what an enormous continent that is – 0ver a thousand thousand populaton in both India & China let alone the rest of Asia!) This is what the Yanks are holding out for! There’ll be lots of profit then! Hicks and maybe Gillet will never relinquish their shares in LFC unless RBS force them to sell – lets all hope that is the way things go! However the next money moguls will do just the same!
    In regard to the Europa ‘Mouse Cup’, one should be reminded of Ferguson’s similar words relating to the ‘League cup’ and later the ‘FA cup'(when Man U pulled out of it a few years back). It did’n’t take very long for them to realise that both those cups still have a lot of value!
    By the way it is very much because of LFC’s success in Europe that there are ‘Four Places’ to play for in the Champions League,and now it is spoken of having play – off’s down to 7th place – how rediculous is that! Also the ‘Mouse Cup’ – as you refer to it is very worth while for any club to win – there are some great clubs in there again this year!
    Now I will wait to se if you publish my comments!

  • dexylongshot

    Comments published. I still think the scousers will have a say in the top 4 places as well as the last 4 of the Europa tin cup. I think my Torres top goalscorer/Liverpool Prem Champs bet is out the window though.

  • Dan Church

    Dave, i think you will find that Liverpools success in the 70s and 80s had nothing to do with there being 4 english spots in the Champions League…..the number of spots per country is decided on an unknown ranking/points scoring basis dependant on how well that country has done in the tournement previously. When we were allowed back in the tournement after our ban following Heysel we started off with only 1 spot i believe and we built up our spots from there due to first Man United and then Arsenal progressing consistantly beyond the group stages….If Celtic and Rangers ever become any good and progress to the 1/4s and semis for 2 or 3 years in a row, you will probably see a 3rd spot awarded to Scotland…..

  • Dan Church

    Dave, i think you will find that Liverpools success in the 70s and 80s had nothing to do with there being 4 english spots in the Champions League…..the number of spots per country is decided on an unknown ranking/points scoring basis dependant on how well that country has done in the tournement previously. When we were allowed back in the tournement after our ban following Heysel we started off with only 1 spot i believe and we built up our spots from there due to first Man United and then Arsenal progressing consistantly beyond the group stages….If Celtic and Rangers ever become any good and progress to the 1/4s and semis for 2 or 3 years in a row, you will probably see a 3rd spot awarded to Scotland…..

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    On that performance not a hope it hell! I actually think they’ll get turned over in Romania.

    No width, no cutting egde, but they have won the European Cup 5 times so it’s ok.

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