I’ll go to the match as usual, I’ll support City because it’s what a fan does but to say I have zero enthusiasm for this wretched, ill-conceived badly, nay corruptly governed competition is to understate my position. Any competition which calls itself The Champions League and then chooses to admit a majority of teams which are not champions has already offended my interpretation of a putative trades description act for football. If such a competition’s owners then devise a system which can favour teams like Arsenal, perennially 3rd of 4th in the Premiership, over the Champions of that league then this smacks of the worst kind of closed shopism.
The Champions League is pretty obviously a cartel designed to maximise income for a few founding member clubs and to hinder any newcomer’s admission to the inner circle of true believers. Even the press, usually so free with football comment have been entirely taken in. This is Europe’s Premier competition they say and feign disgust at Liverpool fielding what appeared to be an understrength side against Real Madrid last night knowing that they have an important match against Chelsea at the weekend. Liverpool deny this of course – what else could they do? But if secretly they did devalue this god-awful competition then that’s excellent to my mind. If only City had such courage.
But alas our usually wise and careful owners have been sucked into the Euromyth that the Champions league really matters and seem to want us to do well and even win it at some time in the future. City must, must, must win tonight bleat the press sheep. Otherwise they have no chance of getting through to the next (fixed) stage of the competition. Actually we should try to win for another reason: we would almost certainly end up in the Europa League which is every bit a useless and daft as the Champions league but without the cash sweetener and pretty well guarantees a tired or depleted squad for the following weekend’s genuinely important Premiership matches.
So to the match which I will attend as usual. I’ll cheer if we score or play well and curse any bad defending or poor passing just like normal. But the truth is I rate this completion slightly more important than the Community Shield and that seems generous since that idea behind that obviously contrived opening fixture to any football season is to raise money for community based ideas and charities.
This match is against the Russian Champions CSKA notable for history of the racism by their fans, the vehement denial of such racism by the CSKA club authorities and their blatant disregard for UEFA’s ban on supporters at the last match. It was a City player, Touré, who was the recipient of many of the racist chants in our annual fixture against CSKA but City fans who were punished by this self-centred, incompetent bunch of money grabbing, t*sspots at UEFA headquarters. Could UEFA organise an inebriating event in a brewery? I wouldn’t risk it.
So might we win? Don’t care much but probably City.
Who will play? Don’t give a monkeys as long as no one is injured.
Who will play? If it was up to me – the youth team.
What is my prediction for the score? 2-1 to City probably if I manage to keep tabs on the match between yawns.