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EUROPEAN DREAMS

24-03-2010

Andy Munro is still dreaming of dusting off his passport and following the Blues into Europe....even if there isn’t a war (c J. Carrott).

With Blues now out of the FA Cup, most Bluenoses are dreaming optimistically of a European adventure but nobody seems to know much about the qualification eligibility.

When I went into further education, I had the choice of studying Nuclear Physics, Advanced Russian or the Europa Cup…much against the advice of the tutors I chose the latter. So passing on my knowledge I can reveal the following fascinating facts:-

  • the Europa Cup was first known as the Fairs Cup
  • Blues played Inter Milan in those early days when Jose Mourinho was just a twinkle in his madre’s eye.
  • there are about 14 rounds to the Europa Cup and most English clubs are knocked out through sheer exhaustion by about Round 12 before they even reach the quarter finals.
  • The Intertoto Cup route into the competition was dreamed up by a Villa fan who was sick of never qualifying for the proper competition.
  • the odds are that early on your team will be drawn against a team called Dynamo Skoda from the depths of Macadomia.
  • Teams can qualify through a ‘fair play’ slot which unfortunately automatically discounts any team with Lee Bowyer in their squad.
  • Teams finishing in the top eight of the Premiership will usually qualify if it’s a leap year.
  • Other routes to qualification are through winning the FA Cup or Carling Cup or even as a runner up if you come from Liverpool, London or the Manchester areas.

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Andy Munro would like to point out that 'my views are personal and not those of the City Council'

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