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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.


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


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