Friday, 16 March 2012

A city united?

The two Manchester clubs exited the UEFA Europa League last night, having already dropped down into it from the Champions League.

The Europa League began in the mid-50's as the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup with representative sides from cities hosting trade exhibitions.  Although Barcelona just entered FC Barcelona with a token Espanyol player, the London XI drew upon all the capital's First Division clubs.  In the early 60's cities were allowed to enter more than one team and the Fairs Cup, later the UEFA Cup, became a club competition.

But what if the Cup had continued to be played between teams representing cities? The Manchester XI might read Hart, Richards, Ferdinand, Kompany, Evra, Silva, Carrick, Yaya Toure, Young, Rooney, Hernandez and would most likely still be in it.

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