Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has called on UEFA to change its procedure for Champions League draws in order to keep the bigger clubs apart in the knockout stages.
Rummenigge was talking after watching Bayern defeat last season’s runners-up Juventus in a thrilling round of 16 encounter. He feels it would be in football’s best interests if UEFA devised a system of seeding which could ensure such high profile meetings came later in the competition.
“What I don’t like about the Champions League draw for the knockout stages is that it all depends on fate,” Rummenigge told reporters.
“UEFA should consider an alternative with seeded teams or something similar.
“I saw some games in the first knockout stage where I came close to switching off the TV.
“And now we see a team like Juventus – who made it to the final last season – crash out in the round of 16.
“This is no longer acceptable. I am fed up with how fate plays such a big role.”
UEFA currently already has a system in place whereby group-stage winners cannot be paired with other pool winners – or with a team from the same country – in the round of 16 in order to minimise the chances of big-name clubs meeting at the first knockout stage.
Rumennigge, in his capacity as head of the European Clubs Association, had spoken earlier this week about the possibility of creating a third European competition to run alongside the Champions League and the Europa League. Significantly, he suggested that qualification for such a competition could be determined not on merit, but by the “attractiveness of the clubs and their importance in marketing.”