Benitez derides play-off proposal

17 February 2010 04:28
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has laughed off the idea of a Champions League play-off, saying teams would be playing "until the end of the century".The suggestion of a play-off between the teams who come fourth to seventh for the fourth spot has drawn mixed reviews but Benitez says it is absurd. [LNB]"We are playing too much now. They were talking about a 39th game being played in Asia," he said. [LNB]"If we now play the play-offs we'll be playing until the end of the century." [LNB]The move would need the approval of 14 of the 20 Premier League clubs to come into effect, and could not be introduced for three years because of existing television contracts. [LNB]It has been interpreted as a way of increasing competition in the Premier League, with Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal have filled the top four positions in five out of the past six seasons.[LNB] GORDON FARQUHAR'S BLOG For ambitious clubs like Villa, Man City and Spurs, it's going to be attractive Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has come out against the idea, saying "after 38 games, you have to consider the table is the table", while Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill called it "interesting" and said it was something "people might go for." [LNB]But Benitez was damning in his criticism of the idea, sarcastically suggesting it could be used at the foot of the table as well. [LNB]"To play three, maybe four fixtures, when you don't have time with international football - when will you play, how can you play these games and what does it mean for the team that finishes fourth?," stated Benitez. [LNB]"Maybe we can do the same with the teams at the bottom of the table. If you finish fourth maybe you could play with the team who finished third from the bottom. [LNB]"Then during the whole season we can play 50 games and we don't have to rest so that will be fantastic."

Source: BBC_Sport