DEAN SMITH’s PRE-MATCH THOUGHTS
Dean Smith wasn’t pleased when he found out about the proposed ‘Super League’.
“It has been a bit of a crazy 48 hours, I must admit,” he said.
“First of all, for me, I have got total sympathy for the six managers whose English clubs are involved in this, having to front up to the media.
“From what I have learned so far they have not had any involvement in the decision making or any part of the process so far that their clubs have entered into.
“So I have got a massive amount of sympathy for them.
“Where I stand on it: I am deeply, deeply saddened by it and disappointed in all honesty.
“There have been some strong statements that have come out already from some clubs within the Premier League and England itself.
“I think the one thing from where I look at it…I was born in 1971, 50 years ago, and at that time Villa were a third division club.
“Eleven years later I watched them lift the European Cup, which is the pinnacle – now the Champions League trophy.
“And that was the dream, they earned the right to do that by winning the League the previous season.
“While I understand that competitions evolve, I liked the European Cup being the winners of the Leagues and the UEFA Cup being the other four and then the Cup Winners’s Cup.
“And it changed and I understand that and it needed to because of the finances that were coming into the game.
“The Champions League in its format probably needs to evolve now and change, but to then create your own Super League from where there is no relegation and promotion, it just totally baffles me.
“Because it actually takes away the competition for people to go and reach the Champions League final.
“I dreamt of becoming a Premier League manager and my next dream is to break into the Champions League places and challenge again with Villa.
“If this format goes ahead and the concept which, I have seen it stated already, is being made for the good of football.
“For me it is not for the good of football, it is totally a commercial venture.
“Football and sport, in general, is about competition and this is not competition when you have six clubs out of England joining a European Super League.”