Friday 10th June 2005
REDS IN AS TOP SEEDS IN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
It seems a degree of common sense has prevailed, and the most important champions in the competition, Liverpool - the European Champions, have been allowed to defend their title in a ruling by UEFA today.
The decision was unanimous, but the reds will begin in the first group stage and will play 6 games (hopefully!) before they enter the group stage.
In the future all champions will automatically be allowed to defend their title.
The reds however, do not have any country protection and could therefore meet Everton in the 3rd Qualifying round - which would suit UEFA down to a tee, as they would avoid any further problems over splitting the group stage money 5 ways.
If Liverpool make it through the group stages, they will be placed in as top seeds and as such will avoid the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan, Man United, Arsenal and Bayern Munich. However, the reds could be placed in the same group as both Chelsea or Everton.
The decision has meant that Fenerbahce, ironically from Turkey, now automatically qualify for the group stage.
The draw will be made on the 24th June with matches in the middle of July. The games will wreak havoc with Liverpool's pre-season training, and in effect, will be the club's pre-season training.
The teams in the first round are:
News report filed by The Editor